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The NBA regular season begins in less than 20 days, but JR Smith and the Cavs still haven’t reached an agreement on a deal. Most of Smith’s teammates are growing frustrated with the hold up and LeBron James has even gone public about it.
Some insiders in Ohio seem to know the details about whats holding the deal between Smith and the Cavs up. It’s about $5 million. The 31-year-old is seeking about $15 million annually, but the Cavs aren’t budging and want to land him in the $10-11 million per year range. Via Cleveland.com
Hey, Joe: When will J.R. Smith sign with the CAVS? What are they waiting for? — Caroline, Brookpark
Hey, Caroline: The Cavs (they appreciate the all caps, by the way) are waiting for Smith to sign the deal they offered him. Smith is waiting for them to up their offer. The team offered somewhere between $10 million and $11 million, annually, while Smith is looking for more like $15 million annually. Isn’t this fun?
Looking at the J.R. Smith contract negotiation issue, is there like a deadline where he can no longer be signed for the upcoming season? If so, when?
Good question. The answer is no. For example, the Cavs signed Dahntay Jones on the final day of the regular season last year. He remained on the team throughout the playoffs and played meaningful minutes in Game 6 of the Finals. Smith is an unrestricted free agent, but the Cavs have the right to give him a lucrative contract (go above the salary cap, or offer him above the veteran’s minimum) so long as he remains a free agent. Any deadline would be an arbitrary one. Either team owner Dan Gilbert draws a line in the sand, or Smith does. Or neither side does that and this thing gets worked out amicably.