The Cleveland Cavaliers and J.R. Smith are still at a contract impasse after months of disagreement on a new contract. Smith and his representative Rich Paul are reportedly asking for a multi-year deal at around $15 million per year. So far, the most significant offer the Cavs have made to Smith is a 4-year deal worth about $42 million.
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With the regular season almost here, the Cavs and Smith have less than 16 days to agree on a new contract so Smith will be ready to play opening night. While Smith is still reportedly fully committed to the Cavs, there are other teams looking at the streaky shooting guard.
According to Frank Isola of the New York Daily News, the Boston Celtics are still showing interest in Smith.
It is likely that Smith, a one-time Sixth Man of the Year with the Knicks, will re-sign with Cleveland but there are several teams that have interest in the shooting guard. One team is the Boston Celtics, whose second unit could certainly use a little scoring punch.
Barring a trade to clear cap space, the Celtics have approximately $9 million to sign Smith. He’s looking for a bigger payday, somewhere in the $15 million per season range. The Cavs are currently offering between $10 and $11 million annually. The Celtics would have to get close to $15 million for Smith to want to leave Cleveland to be a back-up to Avery Bradley.
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The Cavs have not had any serious competition to sign Smith, and they haven’t felt the need to up their offer from a little over $10 million per year. Smith, along with Cavs teammates LeBron James and Richard Jefferson, took to the field of Game 2 between the Cleveland Indians and Boston Red Sox to pump up the crowd. J.R. continues to show support for all teams Cleveland, appearing at Indians games, Ohio State football games, as well as Browns’ games.
Smith is likely to remain with the Cavs, but it’s hard to see Smith just sitting around if the NBA season starts and the two sides still disagree on a deal. Hopefully, the two sides can come to an agreement before ring night and the start of the regular season.