LAST season it was Tristan Thompson. Now it’s J.R. Smith’s turn.
Two months after helping the Cleveland Cavaliers win its first NBA championship, Smith is still a free agent and there appears to be an impasse in negotiations.
The situation is not new for the flamboyant shooting guard who last year opted out of a $6.4 million player option, only to find out there weren’t any takers in free agency. He ended up re-signing with the Cavs for a two-year deal worth $5 million per season but again used his player option in search for a better contract.
According to Basketball Insiders' Steve Kyler, Smith is asking for $15 million a year, a figure the Cavs might not be willing to give judging by the stalemate in negotiations, as reported by UK Business Insider's Scott Davis.
However, Smith is represented by Rich Paul, the same agent of teammates Thompson (who signed an $82 million deal last year) and LeBron James, who in an online video said “Let’s get J.R. done. It’s that time.”
Last season, it was Smith who posed as the outside threat for the Cavs to complement the Big Three of James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love. With Matthew Dellavedova now in Milwaukee and Iman Shumpert often hampered by injuries, re-signing Smith could be an imperative for the Cavs.