A couple of days ago, it was rumored that the only factor that is preventing the Cleveland Cavaliers from offering a contract to J.R. Smith is the athlete's high asking price. But, it seems the Los Angeles Lakers, who are also reportedly interested in getting the shooting guard, have a way of getting around this issue.
Despite being part of the core group that helped Cleveland win its first championship in a very long time, Smith still hasn't received an offer from the Cavs regarding a new contract. Although some reports claim that this is because Cleveland is still currently prioritizing its deals with its other more prominent players, such as LeBron James, others suggest that it may have something to do with the Smith's salary demands.
As noted by NBA Insider Steve Kyler, Smith reportedly wants to receive $15 million a year from the Cavs. For a team with limited cap space, this is certainly very hard to do. However, if they refuse to give Smith what he wants, then they might end up losing him, which is exactly what happened to Timofey Mozgov and Matthew Delladova. Cleveland lost these two during free agency after they got higher offers from other teams.
The Lakers just might have enough cap space to take away Smith from the Cavs. As noted by Sportsrageous, the Los Angeles franchise if they decide to waive Nick Young's contract.
According to the site, the Lakers have already placed Young on the trading block but other teams have not yet shown interest in getting the 31-year-old shooting guard. Since other teams won't take him, they could just waive his contract, which would free them from covering his remaining two years with the team.
Doing so will then give the Lakers the money they need to sign Smith. Putting Smith on the Lakers' roster will be good for the team as he can serve as a reliable partner or back-up to Jordan Clarkson, who is expected to become LA's starter next season. Despite his ball-handling skills and great shooting abilities, Clarkson tends to struggle at the three-point line, which Smith can easily cover since he was a 40 percent shooter in this area last season.