New developments regarding J.R. Smith's status with the Cleveland Cavaliers strongly suggest that a contract signing might not happen anytime soon. According to sources, aside from the money involved, there's also another reason that's preventing the Cavs from signing Smith.
During the free agency period, it was rumored that Smith wants to receive around $15 million a year from his potentially new contract with the Cleveland organization. Although the contract's duration was not discussed in the reports, it's probably safe to assume that Smith is targeting to secure a maximum deal with the team that would keep him in the roster for the next four or five years.
However, due to the Cavs' current financial situation, paying Smith $15 million a year is a bit high. Cleveland reportedly tried to bargain with Smith with $10 million per season but that wasn't enough to convince the athlete to sign with the team.
But now, according to Joe Varden of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, it seems the athlete's high salary demand is not the only thing keeping the Cavs from finalizing a deal with Smith. As noted by the insider, the team is reportedly more concerned with the length of the contract.
According to rumors, the Cavs prefer a shorter contract for Smith than a maximum one. Although the actual length wasn't discussed, it's probably only around one or two years, which means Smith will once again bounce around in the league as a free agent once the contract ends.
Obviously, this won't sit well for Smith who's looking for a big payout with the Cleveland franchise.
Fortunately for the Cavs, Smith is reportedly not entertaining other teams in the league for his signature. For him, the only team that he wants to play for is the Cleveland organization.
However, now that he and the team will have to talk about the value and duration of the contract, negotiations for the deal could last for a couple of more months. There's even a chance that Smith might enter the NBA preseason still as a free agent.
Hopefully though, these matters will be resolved and that these two parties will be able to work out a mutually beneficial deal.