AP Source: J.R. Smith agrees to new contract with Cavs
CLEVELAND (AP) J.R. Smith looked around and realized there was no place like Cleveland.
The free-wheeling and enigmatic shooter has agreed to re-sign with the Cavaliers, a person familiar with the decision told the Associated Press on Thursday night. Smith, who declined his $6.8 million player option shortly after the season, considered other options before returning to Cleveland, said the person who spoke on condition of anonymity because the contract has not yet been signed.
Smith came to the Cavs along with Iman Shumpert in a trade with the New York Knicks last season. Smith averaged 12.7 points in 46 regular-season games with Cleveland, and seemed to fit in nicely as well as bond with star LeBron James.
During the playoffs, Smith was forced into a more prominent role following injuries to Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving and averaged 12.8 points in 18 games, starting four. He was also suspended for two games for hitting Celtics forward Jae Crowder in the face.
Smith announced his return on his Instagram account.
''It's been a long ride this summer but I can say for sure, well worth the wait,'' Smith said. ''When I opted out of my contract, I wanted to understand the landscape of the NBA and where I fit best. The Cavaliers had things they needed to do in order to piece together a championship caliber roster. I ended up deciding that instead of potentially securing a larger deal elsewhere, I wanted to rejoin an incredible organization in pursuit of the ultimate goal, an NBA championship.''
The Cavs are still hoping to sign forward Tristan Thompson, a restricted free agent.