CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) – J.R. Smith has been just about everywhere in Cleveland lately.
Well, everywhere but Quicken Loans Arena, that is.
The free agent guard has recently appeared at Indians and Browns games, but the reigning NBA champions, the Cleveland Cavaliers, have been unable to reach an agreement with the sharpshooter, and according to reports, at least one other team has shown some interest in Smith as the NBA preseason continues.
It is likely that Smith, a one-time Sixth Man of the Year with the Knicks, will re-sign with Cleveland but there are several teams that have interest in the shooting guard. One team is the Boston Celtics, whose second unit could certainly use a little scoring punch.
Barring a trade to clear cap space, the Celtics have approximately $9 million to sign Smith. He’s looking for a bigger payday, somewhere in the $15 million per season range. The Cavs are currently offering between $10 and $11 million annually. The Celtics would have to get close to $15 million for Smith to want to leave Cleveland to be a back-up to Avery Bradley.
Smith hardly seems to be ready to go elsewhere, recently hanging out with LeBron James and several other Cavs players at the Indians’ ALDS game on Saturday at Progressive Field, and the Celtics don’t currently have the cap space to add Smith at the rate he has reportedly coveted from Cleveland.
Could reports of other interest be a way for Smith’s camp to attempt to speed along the process with the Cavaliers? Perhaps, and James has even voiced his desire for a deal to get done between Smith and the Cavs.
But as of now, the 31-year-old guard remains free to sign with anyone willing to meet his lofty demands.