The Cavaliers have done a solid job this offseason handling their free agent priorities. They re-signed LeBron James, Kevin Love, and Iman Shumpert to long term deals almost immediately. They then signed Mo Williams and Richard Jefferson to bolster their bench. The only two pieces they have to solve are the deals with Tristan Thompson and J.R. Smith.
The Cavs were largely expected to re-sign Tristan Thompson as soon as they could, but the two sides still haven’t agreed upon a contract. Talks stalled after Thompson reportedly turned down a 5-year, $80 million deal. Both sides have still been in talks about a new deal, but nothing has been confirmed at this time. Thompson really only has two options here, which is to:
A) Take the 5-year, $80 million deal offered to him after he gambled on himself last year by not signing an extension or
B) Sign a $6.8 million Qualifying Offer for the 2015-16 season and become an unrestricted free agent next summer.
The chances, however, that Thompson gets to prove his worth again this upcoming season with the Cavs is slim, as it would all essentially depend on the health of Kevin Love. Love has been rehabbing all summer and will be going into the 2015-16 season with a full season behind him with the Cavs and a better idea of how to preserve himself for the postseason.
Now, J.R. Smith’s situation is a pretty simply one. The Cavs expected Smith to opt into the final year of his contract for about $6.4 million. Instead, he opted out and attempted to pursue a longer term deal with a team in the NBA.
Sam Amico reports on the teams who have interest in Smith, and how the Cavs playing the waiting game benefits them.
Sixers expressed interest in free agent guard JR Smith, but that's dwindled. Cavs want to re-sign Smith, letting market determine his value.
— Sam Amico (@AmicoHoops) August 4, 2015
By waiting for Smith to find another possible suitor, which basically doesn’t exist at this point in his career, the Cavs have forces Smith into a situation where he’ll accept anything he’s offered. After getting a taste of the postseason and the Finals with LeBron James and Kyrie Irving, Smith really wants to come back and play for a team he can help in the postseason.
Both players are expected to join the Cavs for next season, but all sides are still working on the terms of these potential deals.
Stay tuned for the latest on the Cavs free agency offseason.