Despite there being almost no news on the J.R. Smith front, it seems as if he’ll be back in wine & gold next season. And Cavs GM David Griffin is confident in that fact.
"I think the good news is J.R. wants to be here and we want J.R. back," Griffin said on ESPN during the Cavs’ summer league game vs. the Celtics. "These things sometimes take time and he has representatives that want him to be with us as well. When the time is right something will get done. I'm very confident about that."
"We do have Bird rights with him and we can do what we need to do," Griffin said. "I don't think anything else needs to happen with that."
To read between the lines here, it just seems as if the Cavs and Smith have to come together on a number. The Cavs don’t really have a ready made replacement for Smith, but at the same time, most other teams have spent their money already. Plus, Smith really has had the best portion of his career with LeBron James and he has said in the past that he wishes he had play with LeBron his whole career.
Also of note here: Smith is represented by Rich Paul of Klutch Sports, who also happens to be LeBron’s agent. And LeBron also remains un-signed. Smith became a free agent this summer when he turned down his player option for the 2016-17 season. And since the Cavs have Smith’s bird rights, the can pay him a little bit more if that’s what it takes, assuming Dan Gilbert is again willing to pay a hefty tax bill.
At some point, Smith will re-sign. The real question now is for how much.