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J.R. Smith is "nervous" about free agency decision

J.R. Smith hasn't yet signed with the Cavaliers and he seems to be getting nervous about his future in Cleveland.

David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

J.R. Smith is an unrestricted free agent and the Cavaliers haven't yet agreed to a deal with their starting two-guard. On an appearance on ESPN's His and Hers, Smith indicated that the process was beginning to make him nervous.

"I've thought about that situation (leaving Cleveland), and I've thought about it the other way, too, going back and winning again," Smith said. "Both are juggled in the air and I'm kind of nervous about that choice when it gets presented to me."

He's expected to command a decent chunk of cash, and in a way, Smith has the Cavaliers over a barrel. The Cavaliers can pretty much only sign minimum-salary players to replace him or trade for a replacement. On the other hand, the market was cool for J.R. last summer, and there's been very little scuttlebutt about other teams making offers.

This, to me, read like a bit of a leverage play. Smith, like any smart free agent, should try to get the most money he can, especially for a team that's only incentive to not signing him is to save money, at least for the first couple of years. That can't really happen if the Cavaliers brass doesn't think there's any chance he'll pursue offers elsewhere, so he'll do whatever he can to make them think he might leave.

My money is still that J.R. is a Cavalier next year, but, as always, there's the small chance someone blows him away with a huge offer, even though there's a ton less money on the market than there was at the beginning. That said, he's happy in Cleveland, hugely successful, and I'd be stunned if he signed anywhere else.