NBA Rumor: J.R. Smith Staying in Cleveland for now
What's the story?
J.R. Smith has reportedly struggled to attract serious interest since the Cleveland Cavaliers told him that he could leave last week. NBA insider Bobby Marks has claimed that J.R. Smith's huge $15 million contract represents little value for NBA teams and this ultimately may lead to Smith staying in Cleveland for the entire season.
In case you didn't know...
J.R. Smith is a 33-year-old shooting guard who has played a vital role in the Cavaliers success over the last few years. Smith is owed $14,720,000 for the current season, with a further $3,870,000 guaranteed for next season. The player who averaged 8.3 points, 1.8 assists and 2.9 games in 28.1 minutes per game last season, will become an unrestricted free-agent in 2020.
The heart of the matter
A move for J.R. Smith looks like it will come down to over how desperate he is to move on. The 2016 NBA winner has previously stated that he would not be interested in negotiating his own exit, as he believes a buy-out will affect his legacy in Cleveland. Despite his reluctance to a buyout, it may be the only way that Smith can find a team for the rest of the 18/19 season.
No team is going to want to drop nearly $15 million on a 33-year-old who has had ongoing discipline issues. In comparison, if Smith becomes available on a veteran's minimum deal, the likes of the Lakers and Rockets may become interested. It looks as though J.R. Smith has played his final game for the Cleveland Cavaliers, but it is still a mystery as to how long it will be before he finds a new team.
The Cavaliers face the Minnesota Timberwolves tonight. This is then followed up by their first meeting with the side that scored 148 points against them last season, the Oklahoma City Thunder.