July 19, 2016

In the bid to get the band back together to defend their 2016 NBA championship, one contract situation appears to be greater than other negotiating challenges this summer, and it's not LeBron James' deal.

J.R. Smith and the Cavaliers are far apart in contract talks, per multiple reports, and the 30-year-old might not see a better offer, at least from luxury-tax strapped Cleveland. The 30-year-old played a key role for the Cavaliers under coach Tyronn Lue, and even with the addition of shooting guard Mike Duleavy -- acquired from the Chicago Bulls via trade -- the Cavs don't want to take another hit to their rotation.

Center Timofey Mozgov signed a four-year deal with the Lakers and restricted free agent point guard Matthew Dellavedova jumped to the Milwaukee Bucks.

General manager David Griffin said he was "very confident" Smith would be re-signed.

Smith made 40 percent of his 3-point attempts and overtook Iman Shumpert, who was playing in the first of a four-year, $44 million deal, from the starting lineup. Smith is looking for a multi-year deal but the Cavaliers are limited in their flexibility.

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