Apparently, he’ll get the opportunity to showcase his talent and prove that he’s still capable of playing at a high level. According to a Lakers source close to the situation, Smith will get a workout with the Los Angeles Lakers next week. “There are no guarantees,” said the source. “They want to see what he can do and if it is a fit, we’ll take it from there.”
The 2016 NBA Champion Cleveland Cavaliers have re-signed guard J.R. Smith, General Manager David Griffin announced today from Cleveland Clinic Courts. “Bringing J.R. back as part of our core group was a priority for us,” said Griffin. “He’s a special part of this family and we are very pleased to have reached an agreement that we all can feel good about. We know he can’t wait to get back on the court with his brothers and we are certain that everyone in this organization and city feels the same way.”
Sources told ESPN.com that Smith and the Cavs came to terms Friday night on a new pact that will guarantee the mercurial shooting guard $45 million over the next three seasons. The fourth season of the contract is not fully guaranteed, sources told ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, at which point Smith will be 34. But sources say Smith’s final season will become fully guaranteed unless the Cavs waive him shortly after the 2018-19 season.
Progress was made this week when coach Tyronn Lue called Smith. “We talked about business. We talked about a lot of things,” Lue said. “I just think it’s gonna get done. When you’re dealing with business, that’s not my side of it. JR know what he wants, the team knows what they want to give him. They just need to come to an agreement and get something done.”
The Cavs offered him between $10 million and $11 million annually — Smith is looking for more, like $15 million. There is also the matter of the length of the contract to be ironed out, and neither side has shown interest in budging. “It is tough,” James said. “His daughter is in school and he lives here. He has daddy responsibilities as well. When we’re on the court we definitely feel him not here. Every time we step out on the floor and don’t see him out on the floor it affects our team, but guys are still trying to put in the work. “Like I said, things should get done soon, hopefully.”
The Cavs are already more than $22 million over the the NBA’s $94 million salary cap. By league rules, they can go over the cap to retain Smith, but couldn’t replace him with a free agent who would command a similar contract. While neither JR Smith nor Rich Paul has ever confirmed this figure, it is believed he’s looking for a contract worth about $15 million annually. The two sides may not be arguing over money so much as the length of the deal — the Cavs would likely prefer a shorter contract.
The two sides have been negotiating, but remain apart on a dollar figure, league sources told cleveland.com. Smith is believed to be seeking around $15 million per year, a number first mentioned by Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders. That’s a hefty price tag, one that would make Smith one of the highest paid players on the roster and push the Cavs into the luxury tax, an unavoidable reality for the reigning NBA champions.
Bobby Marks: Nets roster heading to Orlando Chris Chiozza Tyler Johnson Caris LeVert Garrett Temple Jeremiah Martin Justin Anderson Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot Joe Harris Dzanan Musa Rodions Kurucs Jarrett Allen Substitute 1 Substitute 2 Substitute 3
Weltman believes that the strong collective character of the Magic’s roster will help the squad battle through any potential adversity that could come in the days, weeks and months ahead. “We’re always talking about it a lot and I always say it – we’re not just betting on the player; we’re betting on the person and I believe in our guys,’’ Weltman said via a Zoom call from the Disney campus on Tuesday afternoon. “I believe that we have high-character group of players and that spreads down to all of our coaches, our performance staff and all of our support staff. (The players) have worked hard, they’ve stayed together, they’ve communicated, and they’ve remained optimistic at points where there was more uncertainty. As the plans have come into clearer focus, they’ve united, and there’s a feeling of togetherness and comradery.’’