Cleveland Cavaliers guard J.R. Smith is expected to opt out of his $6.4 million contract for next season:
JR Smith told me he'll probably opt out of the final year, $6.4 million of his contract
— Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard) June 17, 2015
Smith came over to the Cavaliers in the key midseason deal with the New York Knicks that also involved Iman Shumpert. Smith found his niche in Cleveland, averaging 12.7 points while shooting 39 percent from three in the regular season after the trade.
Smith also made some nice contributions in the postseason, especially against the Atlanta Hawks and Chicago Bulls. He shot 50 percent overall across the two series and made 28-of-62 from three.
However, Smith was a disaster in the NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors, shooting 31.2 percent overall and 29.4 percent from three, and that was bolstered by a late surge in Game 6.
Smith would like to remain with the Cavaliers, although it’s unclear if he’s in their plans:
J.R. Smith says he "absolutely" plans to be back with #Cavs next year. He has a player option.
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) June 17, 2015
The Cavaliers have a lot of people to pay this offseason, and they may not be willing to pay up for Smith if he’s looking for a significant raise. The thing is, will any team be willing to pay him big money considering his past? It’s an interesting decision to opt out in advance of the salary cap explosion coming in 2016, as he could just opt in and potentially cash in next summer if he plays well.