Despite some interest from the Philadelphia 76ers, the Cleveland Cavaliers don’t seem to be worried about J.R. Smith not playing for them next season.
The 76ers were interested in the 11-year veteran, but that has cooled off. Smith, who opted out of a deal paying him $6.5 million next season, is finding out that no one wants to pay him that kind of money, and will probably have to settle for less if he returns to the Cavaliers due to their insane luxury tax numbers.
Because of the progressive nature of the tax, the Cavaliers will probably complete their Tristan Thompson re-signing after they’re done with Smith, but the shooting guard, who averaged 12.7 points per game after the trade from the New York Knicks last season, and putting up similar numbers in the playoffs to help the Cavaliers make the finals, is waiting for a bigger offer.
Smith was hoping for someone to make him an $8 million per season offer, but despite the rising salary cap and Smith’s proven track record as a scorer (not a very efficient one, but still), offers weren’t really filling and clogging his inbox. The Cavaliers initially were looking for a $12 million for two years with player option deal, but might be offering less right now.
The Cavaliers have basically kept their entire roster from last season, minus Smith and Thompson, who are still expected to sign. Richard Jefferson and Mo Williams have been added to the mix, as we’ll once again see them (probably) dominating the East, with their sights set on a return to the finals, hopefully completely healthy this time, to finish the job they didn’t complete in June.