J.R. Smith remains in free agency limbo, but says he hopes to re-up with the NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers “soon.”
Smith, 31, is reportedly seeking a $15 million/year deal.
— Complex Sports (@ComplexSports) September 16, 2016
The Cavs are expected to eventually re-sign the veteran shooting guard.
Smith, believe it or not, is still a free agent with Cleveland’s training camp just weeks away on Sept. 27. He has no idea when he’ll sign with the Cavaliers—“Soon, I hope,” he says. Cleveland is realistically the only team Smith can sign with for the money he’s looking for. So what’s the hold up?
“Well, obviously we’re not where we want to be at from a personal standpoint,” says Smith. “But it’s more than just numbers. I don’t want to feel like I’m taking advantage of the Cavs for everything they’ve done for me, and I don’t want them to feel like I’m taking advantage of them. It’s more of a mutual respect thing.”
… He was unceremoniously shipped out of New York in January 2015, but after two NBA Finals appearances in Cleveland, he’s seemingly found a home. His family is based out there now; his wife is going to school, as are his daughters. But is Cleveland really the best spot for him? […] “Yes and no. It depends on how you look at it,” says Smith. “Financially, you can always go somewhere else. Team morale-wise, there are a few teams that I could see working. There are guys I would like to play with, guys I have played with. Being able to live in that city or a particular place, school systems, kids, family life—[with] free agency, everything comes into play. Before, I could just sit there and be like, ‘I don’t care where I go.’ But now I have the kids, and it’s like, ‘Ok, what’s the best fit?’”
UPDATE (September 19): According to ESPN‘s Brian Windhorst, Smith will skip the Cavs’ minicamp this week in California.
JR Smith to skip Cavs minicamp in California as sides remain at contract impasse a week before training camp: https://t.co/nls77N9Vhc
— Brian Windhorst (@WindhorstESPN) September 19, 2016