The Cleveland Cavaliers have been hard at work in building an NBA capable of helping LeBron James bring home the title this coming season. With the ongoing talks involving Tristan Thompson and his agent, Rich Paul, the discussions regarding the potential re-signing of JR Smith with the Cleveland Cavaliers appeared to have been shoved to the sidelines at the moment. With that in mind, the once valuable teammate of LeBron James remains stuck in free agency and no NBA team appears to be eager to sign him anytime soon.
It could be recalled that JR Smith opted out of his contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers earlier this year. With his performance as a reliable shooting guard for the Cavaliers in the past NBA season, JR Smith came to the conclusion that he could get a better deal from other NBA teams compared with the initial offer of the LeBron James squad. However, no offer came and JR Smith remains trapped in the market with zero takers of his goods.
Terry Pluto of Cleveland.com summed JR Smith's situation eloquently. He said, "The hard part for Smith is he knows he should have picked up the player option for $6.4 million for 2015-16." Pluto went on to point out, "When he passed and became a free agent, he really believed a multi-year offer for more money was coming his way. It didn't happen."
While JR Smith is still considered as a notable player by Cleveland, particularly as a support for Iman Shumpert and as a potential small forward, the NBA star has no leverage at the moment. His performance in the previous NBA season was spotty as well. As a newly minted member of the Cavaliers, JR Smith showed off his goods during the LeBron James-led team's games against the Chicago Bulls and the Atlanta Hawks in the postseason. However, his good performance in the court failed to justify his non-basketball related activities.
For instance, his move to smack Jae Crowder of the Boston Celtics earned him a suspension from the NBA. In addition, he has accumulated approximately $500,000 worth of penalties during his basketball career due to his on-court issues. Prior to joining the Cavaliers, the New York Knicks was the NBA team JR Smith called home. However, the New York Knicks eventually decided to release him due to his alleged failure to comply with the team's regulations and fulfill his responsibilities.
"He [JR Smith] was supposed to carry the scoring load for the second unit and he wasn't doing the job," shared New York Knicks President Phil Jackson in an interview with ESPN. He added, "I also said that because of his unacceptable behavior, he had two strikes against him with this team. He didn't really respond. He's a very sensitive guy, with his big doe eyes. He looked like he was going to tear up. But he finally responded that he was going through some issues with his gal." Along with JR Smith, the New York Knicks also shipped Iman Shumpert to the Cavaliers earlier this year. At the moment, the possible NBA team apart from Cleveland capable of signing JR Smith are the Portland Trail Blazers and Philadelphia 76ers.