As it stands, the Cleveland Cavaliers and J.R. Smith remain at an impasse. The two sides have yet to come to terms on a new deal despite training being only a few weeks away. Even more so, little known about the negotiations and it’s hard to estimate exactly where the two sides are at.
Today, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst offered up a brief update while appearing on Washington Post NBA writer Tim Bontemps’ podcast. Per Windhorst, no other team is trying to sign Smith and the Cavs haven’t had a reason to increase their offer to Smith:
From the show:
“I feel like he will sign before the regular season - I’m not sure about training camp. His agents don’t have a problem holding people out.“
“The Cavs want him back, he wants to go back to the Cavs. There’s nobody bidding for him and therefore, the Cavs don’t feel like they have to increase whatever offer they’ve made and J.R. has sat and watched a whole bunch of guys who he thinks he’s equal to or better than get paid huge money this year. I don’t know if the holdup is total year, I don’t know if the holdup is total compensation. “
Windhorst would go on to note that it was about this time last year that Smith re-signed with the Cavs after waiting all summer for a contract offer to come in. With no other team willing to pony up for Smith, it’s the same situation all over again. Windhorst also noted that other Klutch Sports clients such as Cavs forward Tristan Thompson and Suns guard Eric Bledsoe have had their negotiations drag into the season over the past few years.
At this point, the best case scenario would seem to be Smith signing by the start of camp. But if it does take until the season starts - or even more - that’s over a month waiting still to come. And it certainly seems possible that it’ll take that long for the two sides to agree on a deal.
You can check out the full show here.