When the Cleveland Cavaliers went into a drawn-out contract discussion with J.R. Smith this past summer, it was expected that the two parties could be entering into similar discussions the following year. According to Cleveland.com's Chris Haynes, these expectations will become a reality as Smith is expected to opt out of his current deal and become an unrestricted free agent this July.
Smith, 30, opted out of a favorable, $6.4 million one-year deal at the guidance of his agent, only to later re-sign with the Cavaliers last off-season for two years at $10.3 million. The second year of the deal, a player option, would pay Smith a salary of $5.4 million, but with the salary cap set to jump substantially thanks to additional league revenue, opting out a re-signing again would make the most financial sense.
According to Haynes, the 11-year veteran would prefer to stay in Cleveland—""This is where I want to be. The fans love me; I love them and my teammates" The Cavaliers, however, will have many decisions to make as players like Timofey Mozgov, Matthew Dellavedova, and James Jones are also going to be entering free agency while having more than $96 million already committed. 1 In 2015-16, Smith averaged 12.4 points and shot 40 percent from three-point range (making a team-high 204 threes) while serving as one of the team's best two-way players thanks to an increased focus on the defensive end.
1 LeBron James, due to make $24 million next season, is also expected to opt out of his current deal in advance of the increasing salary cap.