Until Friday morning, sports sites were still speculating if the Cleveland Cavaliers would trade shooting guard J.R. Smith for Los Angeles Lakers' shooting guard/point guard Jordan Clarkson because Smith had not signed re-signed with the Cavaliers. However, on Friday afternoon, the contract stand-off was over.
ESPN reported that Smith and the team have come to terms for a four-year $57 million deal, guaranteeing Smith a yearly pay of $14.25 million. ESPN's Marc Stein broke the news, citing league sources, by tweeting the contract agreement.
The team upped the offer from the previous $42 million, or about $10.5 million a year, allowing the Cavs to focus on the rest of the preseason and its title defense in the incoming 2016-17 NBA season. The Cavs caved in to Smith's terms since they are aware that even with LeBron James, the team "could not wing their ring without JR Smith" who led the Cavs in 3-points made with 2.6 per night while shooting 40 percent behind the arc.
No Miracle For Lakers
According to Morning Ledger, the Lakers - who are the cellar dwellers of the Western Conference - are seeking for a few miracles to come their way and thought one of the miracles would be the Cavs agreeing to trade Smith for Clarkson. Had the trade taken place, Smith, with his championship experience, could have mentored the young Lakers.
He could have also upgraded the Lakers' guard positions and improved their chances against the Kings and other teams in the basement. The Lakers actively pursued Smith since the team is eager to rebuild its status in the league and he could have added depth that the Lakers have been searching for, as per reports.
In turn, Clarkson could have been one of Cav's future projects. Although he is not seen as a replacement of Kyrie Irving, Clarkson could have added to the team's young talent pool with high upside.