NBA News: Cavs, JR Smith Reach 4-Year, $57M Deal
NBA team Cleveland Cavaliers and JR Smith finally ended their offseason saga after they reached a four-year, $57 million agreement on Friday, which officially completed the team's core group from the recent NBA Finals.
A deal with Smith, who turned 31 last month, is said to be the final piece that the Cavs wanted to secure this offseason after already locking LeBron James to a three-year, $100 million contract, the league's all-time highest so far, earlier in the summer.
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Smith and the Cavs had been in a stalemate since the beginning of summer after the former Sixth Man of the Year awardee opted out of the final year of his two-year, $10.3 million deal and became an unrestricted free agent.
Smith was linked to several teams during the impasse, including the Los Angeles Lakers, Boston Celtics and his old club the New York Knicks.
However, no team has officially sent him an offer and so hope remained that he will be re-signed by the Cavs before the new season begins. This scenario finally happened last Friday when the two sides came to terms that will keep Smith for at least the end of the 2018-2019 season, according to ESPN.
The first three years of Smith's new deal is fully guaranteed while the last one, 2019-2020, will only become guaranteed if the Cavs waive after the third year.
"Bringing JR back as part of our core group was a priority for us," said Cavs GM David Griffin. "He's a special part of this family and we are very pleased to have reached an agreement that we all can feel good about."
"We know he can't wait to get back on the court with his brothers and we are certain that everyone in this organization and city feels the same way," Griffin added.
Smith initially demanded $15 million a year as his salary, but the Cavs insisted that they could only afford to give him $10 million to $11 million per year. Last week, they finally reached a compromise of $14 million a year compensation with the said deal.
"I know the holdout has been long and tedious for everybody, but it's extremely huge for us," Smith said in a video he released in social media, according to Washington Post. "We're happy to be a part of the Cleveland family."