J.R. Smith, he who again left Quicken Loans Arena on his PhunkeeDuck scooter last night, has a player option with $6.4 million for next season. In speaking with ESPN's Chris Broussard and The Plain Dealer's Chris Haynes, Smith says he'll 'probably' opt out but wants to be back in Cleveland for 2015-16.
JR Smith told me he'll probably opt out of the final year, $6.4 million of his contract— Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard) June 17, 2015
Clarity: J.R. Smith opting out doesn't mean he's not returning to #Cavs next year. He just wants a raise. It's a smart business move.— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) June 17, 2015
J.R. Smith says he "absolutely" plans to be back with #Cavs next year. He has a player option.— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) June 17, 2015
During the regular season, Smith was a key part of the Cavs becoming one of league's best teams after being acquired from the New York Knicks. In the playoffs, however, Smith wasn't the same player. Against the Boston Celtics, he struck Jae Crowder in the face and was suspended by the NBA for the first two games of the Cavs series against the Chicago Bulls.
In the Finals, Smith was 24-77 from the field and 15-51 on 3-points attempts. If he does in fact opt out, it should be interesting to see what the Cavs - a team that is all but guaranteed to pay the luxury tax next season - is willing to pay Smith, who will be 30 at the start of next season.