J.R. Smith’s free agency is the Cleveland Cavaliers’ one remaining task this offseason. With training camp coming close, the two sides haven’t come to an agreement even if it seems inevitable.
In a profile of Smith by Complex, the free agent shooting guard was asked abut when he will re-sign. His response: “Soon, I hope”.
From the profile:
Smith, believe it or not, is still a free agent with Cleveland’s training camp just weeks away on Sept. 27. He has no idea when he’ll sign with the Cavaliers—“Soon, I hope,” he says. Cleveland is realistically the only team Smith can sign with for the money he’s looking for. So what’s the hold up?
“Well, obviously we’re not where we want to be at from a personal standpoint,” says Smith. “But it’s more than just numbers. I don’t want to feel like I’m taking advantage of the Cavs for everything they’ve done for me, and I don’t want them to feel like I’m taking advantage of them. It’s more of a mutual respect thing.”
Smith is reportedly seeking a significant increase in salary after making just $5 million despite starting all 21 playoff games. And with the way free agents were compensated this summer—former teammate Timofey Mozgov is getting $64 million over four years from the Lakers, for example—$15 million a year for his services doesn't seem ridiculous. But the Cavs are still holding out, so there’s a chance he may not get it.
As noted, training camp is right around the corner and it’d be ideal for both sides if he signs sooner rather than later. But if he doesn’t, his fit with the Cavs likely won’t change much - if at all - heading into next season.
Check out the full story here. In it, Smith talks about what it felt like winning the title, how he came up with idea for the t-shirt of his torso and more.