Good things come to those who wait. JR Smith did not rush into signing a new contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers. He also did not take a tour with other NBA teams. That move has paid off. According to Cavs Nation, the Cavaliers have signed Smith to a new contract worth approximately $57 million.
Every NBA owner proclaims to the public and their paying fan base that nothing is more important than winning a championship. Only a few actually come through to prove that those words mean something. Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert got a taste of success, and he wants more of it.
Last season, LeBron James fulfilled a childhood dream by finally bringing an NBA championship to the city of Cleveland. He had to overcome the record-breaking Golden State Warriors to make that happen. Dan Gilbert had front row tickets to see a city celebrate something that most never thought would ever happen.
Of course, Dan Gilbert had to pay a hefty price to make that happen. The Cleveland Cavaliers paid out a good amount of money for the services of Kyrie Irving, LeBron James, and Kevin Love. Those are three of the better and highest-paid players in the NBA.
One of the surprising key contributors to the Cleveland Cavaliers winning the NBA championship was JR Smith. The veteran shooter was considered an afterthought when the Cavaliers made the trade to acquire him from the New York Knicks. Iman Shumpert was considered the actual target of the transaction.
For the longest time, JR Smith was considered by many in the NBA to be a one-dimensional player that cared more about himself than anything else. Last season, he became a solid contributor for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Not only did he provide energy and scoring off the bench, but Smith also finally showed a commitment to defense for the first time in his career.
Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson are two of the best offensive players in the NBA. Very few back courts are harder to defend against. Fortunately for the Cleveland Cavaliers, JR Smith was able to slow them down a bit during the finals.
After winning an NBA championship, JR Smith became one of the most beloved basketball players in the world. The Cleveland Cavaliers obviously wanted him to return so that they could defend that championship. Smith himself told the public that there wasn’t another team in the National Basketball Association that he wanted to play for.
To make that happen, JR Smith wanted at least $15 million a season. He feels that he is worth that amount because of what he did in the NBA Finals. Smith also feels that he is worth that much after seeing what other players were paid during free agency.
The Cleveland Cavaliers were hoping that JR Smith would be willing to accept $10 million a year. They were also hoping that he would accept a short-term deal because he is already 31 years old. Instead, Smith ends up getting a four-year deal at $14.5 million a season.
While it seems like an extremely high price for the Cleveland Cavaliers to pay to keep JR Smith in the mix, management seems to be alright with that if it means that the chemistry will be in tact so that the roster can win a second NBA championship in a row.
JR Smith was patient and received the contract that he wanted from the Cleveland Cavaliers. He now gets a chance to help LeBron James try to win another NBA championship. To say that is a victory for Smith would seem like quite the understatement.
[Featured Image by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images]