The NBA's free agency season is now over but J.R. Smith still does not have a new contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers. This is a bit peculiar especially since the team has already secured coach Tyronn Lue and LeBron James.
Last week, the Cavs closed their deal with James by offering him a three-year contract worth $100 million. And, as suggested in previous reports, this was the only factor that was preventing Cavs from re-signing Smith. Apparently, the team first wants to ensure that it is financially stable before offering Smith a good deal.
Now that the deal with James is finally done, that means the Cavs can now proceed with negotiation with Smith. However, there are still no news yet about the shooting guard joining the team.
This could suggest that there might be a few problems between the athlete and the 2016 NBA champions. One of these issues could be the team's offer.
Last month, it rumored that Smith was asking to get about $15 million per season with the Cavs. Although he was a contributor in the Cleveland franchise's road to victory during the finals, this figure is still too much even for Smith.
According to Chat Sports, after signing James, the Cavs have reportedly decided to offer Smith a $10 million deal, which is far from his rumored asking price. Since Smith has not yet signed the contract, this could mean that he and his camp are not happy with the offer.
It seems Smith is still waiting for the Cavs to increase his salary by ignoring them until he gets an offer that he likes. This could be a problem for the Cavs given their current financial situation.
If they decide to award Smith with $15 million a year, then they could be looking at spending around $130 million for the 2016-2017 season to cover his salary and that of James and the other players. Spending this much is simply not feasible since the team still has to settle its luxury taxes, Hoops Habit reported.
But then again, they can't afford to lose Smith. For one, aside from his skills on the court, he has become a fan favorite and turning him away could anger supporters of the Cleveland organization. James even joined in in pressuring the Cavs to sign Smith through a recent video he released on YouTube, according to Slam Online.