The start of the 2016-17 NBA season is less than a month away but the Cavs are still not their full championship selves just yet. That’s because J.R. Smith is still unsigned and at the moment there doesn’t seem to be any agreement between him and the team on the horizon. All of this is upsetting Lebron who has not been shy about his feelings regarding Smith and his contract with the team.


“Negotiations are always two sides, but J.R. did his part,” James said. “J.R. did his part. He showed up every day. Worked his ass off every day. Became a two-way player, a model citizen in Cleveland and he’s a fan favorite, obviously, we all know that. All of a sudden now he’s a season-ticket holder at the Indians’ games. You know, so. … But we just miss him. We miss having him around. He’s a big piece of our team and they just need to get it done.”

The Cavs reportedly offered Smith a deal that would pay him between $10-$11 million dollars, which he declined. He is looking for something around $15 million per year after the two seasons he’s had with the Cavs where he was definitely a major reason behind their back to back Finals runs.

Smith is looking at his production the past two seasons — 367 3-pointers, second-most in the NBA behind Stephen Curry; 12.5 points per game in 1½ seasons with the Cavs and 40-percent shooting from 3-point range. He’s become an above-average defender and is always credited with playing hard, something not all NBA players can say.

One issue for Smith is he might feel like he has some power in negotiations since the Cavs really have nobody of his caliber to replace him but he has not drawn any interest from any teams around the league. All summer went by and not one team made a real effort to sign Smith.

Bron has been trying his best to stay out of things but the longer time goes on, it seems to be wearing on him and he’s not hiding the frustration.

The Cavs are always going to do what James wants so I’d be shocked if Smith isn’t signed before the season starts but the question will be what compromise does he and the team come to.

The Vertical