Report: Cavaliers want J.R. Smith back on 1-year deal
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The Cleveland Cavaliers want to re-sign shooting guard J.R. Smith, but they don't want to fully commit to the mercurial gunner.
The Cavaliers hope to get Smith back on a one-year deal, reports Terry Pluto of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
Cleveland is over the salary apron, so the most it could offer Smith is the taxpayer mid-level exception, worth $3.4 million. But since the Cavaliers have spent so readily this summer, paying Smith $3.4 million would translate to over $10 million in luxury tax payments.
The Cavaliers also have other free agents to deal with, including Tristan Thompson and Matthew Dellavedova.
Ironically, Smith opted out of the final year of his contract worth $6.4 million this summer. It seemed like a reasonable gamble given the crazed frenzy to open free agency, but the market has since died down, leaving Smith with very few options.
Smith proved to be a valuable contributor for Cleveland last season. He made 45 starts, averaging 12.7 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 2.5 assists while shooting 39 percent from deep. A notorious partygoer, Smith largely stayed out of trouble (although he thanked the sleepy city of Cleveland for that).
The playoffs were a mixed bag for Smith. He dominated the Chicago Bulls and Atlanta Hawks, averaging 15.4 points on 45.9 percent shooting from deep. However, Smith also received a suspension for smacking Jae Crowder and completely disappeared in the finals.
It still seems as though a return to Cleveland is likely in the cards for the 29-year-old Smith. And while he lost money on his ill-fated gamble, he'll have a chance at another championship run with Cleveland.
- With h/t to Pro Basketball Talk
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