According to Cleveland Cavaliers general manager David Griffin, J.R. Smith will be back in Ohio next season.
The free agent guard, a catalyst during the Cavs’ championship run, has yet to ink a free agent deal.
Griffin says it’s only a matter of time until something gets worked.
Per the NEOMG:
“I think the good news is J.R. wants to be here and we want J.R. back,” Griffin said on ESPN during the broadcast of the Cavaliers’ Summer League win against the Boston Celtics on Wednesday night. “These things sometimes take time and he has representatives that want him to be with us as well. When the time is right something will get done. I’m very confident about that.”
Smith declined his player option for the 2016-17 season, making him an unrestricted free agent. But he has spoken repeatedly about the love he has for his teammates and the city of Cleveland, which has embraced him. His decision to test free agency once again was about business, betting on himself during a summer where the salary cap jumped. […] That rise has led to an abundance of large contracts and Smith is also expected to cash in, especially after averaging 12.4 points to go with a career-high 204 3-pointers this past year.
“We do have Bird rights with him and we can do what we need to do,” Griffin said. “I don’t think anything else needs to happen with that.” […] Having Smith’s Bird rights will allow the Cavs to exceed the salary cap in order to re-sign him. It won’t take another departure to clear the necessary space.