Smith agrees to give Cavaliers more time to seek trade
Cavaliers shooting guard J.R. Smith has agreed to push back the guaranteed date on his contract to Aug. 1 in order to give the team more time to work out a trade, a source confirmed to Amico Hoops.
The Cavs had until Sunday to either trade or waive Smith in order to avoid paying his entire $15 million for next season.
Of course, Smith will benefit a little from this as well. Had the Cavs waived him Sunday, he would've been guaranteed $3.87 million. By agreeing to push decision day to Aug. 1, Smith will collect $4.4 million if waived.
Cavaliers general manager Koby Altman fully intends to trade or waive Smith, who was sent home after just 11 appearances this past season. This buys Altman more time before making a final call.
Altman has been heavily involved in Smith trade talks since the end of the season. More than a handful of teams looking to clear salary-cap space are interested in Smith's contract -- provided the Cavs are able to take back a "bad" contract themselves.
It appears Altman is OK with that, within reason, provided the Cavs receive an additional asset.
The Miami Heat, Oklahoma City Thunder and Houston Rockets are all looking to shed salary, and the Cavs have spoken with the Heat and Rockets several times about a potential Smith trade. Several other teams are interested as well.
“We’re definitely going to investigate what we can do there,” Altman said. “There’s a pain threshold of doing it, going into the tax, which we would have to do in terms of taking back money and the rest of the NBA knowing that we’re in the tax and my job would be getting us out of the tax.
“Is there enough value there to do that, to put ourselves out there like that? I think that’s something we are weighing these last few days. There’s opportunity to do it. It’s just how deep do we want to go into the tax to bring back an asset? Also, what does it take us out of into the year? We’re still looking to add assets throughout the year, so using JR now might take us out of that.”
Smith, who turns 34 before the season, was a member of the Cavs’ run of four straight trips to the Finals, but fell out of favor with the front office and coaching staff this past season. He was sent home in November after appearing in 11 games and averaging 6.7 points on 34 percent shooting.