The Cleveland Cavaliers keep adding pieces while re-signing anyone that matters, and that should include J.R. Smith, who is currently trying to negotiate a deal with the team, and probably regrets opting out of his player option for next season.
Smith had an option for $6.5 million next season but decided to opt out, hoping he’d get around $8 million from the Cavaliers, who are looking more into the $5-6 million realm, because of the humongous tax bill they’re going to pay next season.
That’s always part of the gamble of opting out. I regret it, but I also don’t. No because I’ve gotten offers that I wanted, I mean numbers that I wanted, it’s just different situations. Right now it’s just a matter of seeing what the Cavs come back to me with. Right now they give me the best opportunity to win. I definitely want to come back to Cleveland. The coaches, the team, everything about the situation, it’s perfect for me. I also regret it just because I would be secure and I would already know I’m where I want to be. I wouldn’t have to go through this whole thought process anymore.
Has Smith gotten offers from other teams for the kind of money he’s looking for? Maybe, although it is doubtful, and he simply might be playing some sort of negotiation tactic to try and move the Cavaliers closer to the number he’s looking for.
Right now Phil Jackson is trashing Smith, doing his usual rounds of talking about everyone and everything while trying to divert attention from the mess the New York Knicks are. It might be hard for him to accept that Smith is doing so much better somewhere else, and was a much better fit in Cleveland than in New York.
The Cavaliers have added Mo Williams and Richard Jefferson this offseason while re-signing Iman Shumpert. There’s still room, and perhaps money (Gilbert isn’t completely careless with his money, one would think) to sign Smith as well, unless the rumors about Jamal Crawford coming in through a trade are more than just hearsay.