The Cleveland Cavaliers announced Wednesday night that guard J.R. Smith is officially returning to the team. Smith was brought to Cleveland just before the season's halfway point in a trade that also involved Iman Shumpert. While many thought Smith was a salary dump the Cavs the needed to absorb in order to land Shumpert, Smith ended up being a valuable contributor.
From the Cavs:
In his 46 games (45 starts) with the Cavs, the 6-6 guard shot .390 from beyond the arc and averaged 12.7 points, 3.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.4 steals in 31.8 minutes per game.
While the Cavs don't disclose contract terms per league policy, details are coming out:
JR Smith's deal with Cavs is 2 years/10.3M total. But first year just 2M guaranteed, 2nd year player option is 2.1M guaranteed sources said.— Brian Windhorst (@WindhorstESPN) September 2, 2015
Smith has guarantee dates and incentives in deal that make it likely he will get full salary. But it is overall an unusual contract.— Brian Windhorst (@WindhorstESPN) September 2, 2015
If Smith plays the way he did after coming to the Cavs last season, this deal will be a bargain. He's a good three point shooter and plays with creators like LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Love. It's the ideal set up for him. Smith lacks a polished handle and struggles to consistently create for himself. Many have said his best role with the Cavs moving forward will be providing offense off the bench, but it's not clear he can handle that role at this point in his career.
If he can stay in his lane and understand his role, it will be good to have Smith back.