Eleven days before they begin their title defense, Smith finally got the deal he wanted.
But the sides were able to come to terms Friday on a four-year, $57 million contract, a person with direct knowledge of the negotiations told the Associated Press on Friday night. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the package has not been signed. Smith could have joined the team on an early time and could have performed well; nonetheless, it is still interesting to know how that negotiation has gone so long.
The 31-year-old long-range sharpshooter last season played in 77 games for the Cavaliers, averaging 12.4 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.1 steals in 30.7 minutes per contest. The Warriors are known for their shooting especially 3 pointers, but the Cavaliers have incredible sharpshooters and a lot of overall shooters which explains why in the last series against the Atlanta Hawks the Cavaliers made an astonishing 25 3s in a single game.
Now that Smith is back, much to the expected delight of LeBron James, Tyronn Lue can use various lineups throughout the season.
Regardless of what's going on over in Golden State or with other teams, Smith does seem to be confident that Cleveland will have a smoother chemistry on the court because of how close the past year brought everyone together.
Last offseason, Thompson similarly re-signed with the team just weeks before the Cavaliers' regular season opener. Smith is guaranteed $45 million in the first three years of the deal.
12-year National Basketball Association veteran J.R. Smith has been offered a $57 million deal by the defending champions. "It's been a long road", he said. "I appreciate everyone sticking with us through this rough patch of time", Smith said on the video. "But right now I'm envisioning something else to start the season, something we've been thinking about doing a little different". We know the Bucks are great defensively and frustrating to play, but Milwaukee will never take that next step if they don't produce consistently offensively.
Was it the LeBron-effect that landed Thompson a five-year, $82 million extension? The patient approach has become a hallmark of Klutch, led by James' longtime friend Rich Paul and with the contract terms negotiated by Mark Termini.
Sampson was signed by Denver on February 22 and played the final 26 games (22 starts) of the 2015-16 season, averaging 5.2 points and 2.3 rebounds in 18.0 minutes.
Smith can join his teammates Tuesday for the Cavaliers' final pre-season exhibition game against Washington at Columbus, Ohio, before Cleveland raises the championship banner in the October 25 season opener against Smith's former team, the visiting New York Knicks. However, his new Cleveland contract will assure that he will more than double that amount in less than one-third the time.
And Smith isn't the only key member of the Cavs who can say that.