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Eastern Notes: J.R. Smith, Wizards, Contracts

J.R. Smith‘s new two-year contract with the Cavaliers has an unusual structure that includes partial guarantees for both this season and next, sources tell Brian Windhorst of (Twitter links). This year’s salary, worth $5MM, is guaranteed for only $2MM, and next year’s salary, a player option, has a $2.15MM partial guarantee on the full $5.4MM value, reports Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders (All four Twitter links). However, this season’s salary becomes fully guaranteed if the team keeps him through Monday, Pincus adds. That’s almost certain to happen, but the reason that clause is in the contract is so that his 2016/17 salary can become fully guaranteed if he sticks on the roster through the same date next year, in a structure similar to the deal that Kostas Papanikolaou signed with the Rockets last year, Pincus explains. The Cavs formally announced Smith’s signing Wednesday, nearly two weeks after Smith revealed that he would be rejoining the team.

See more from around the Eastern Conference:

  • Coach Randy Wittman likes the grit that Wizards camp signee Toure’ Murry has shown in the past, but the shooting guard will have to make quite a convincing case for the Wizards to keep him over one of the 15 players on their roster with a fully guaranteed contract, writes J. Michael of CSNMidAtlantic. Jaleel Roberts, the other Wizard with a non-guaranteed deal, won his training camp roster spot more so by his performance at Tim Grgurich’s private camp than through his play with the Wizards summer league squad, Michael hears. Still, Roberts is more likely to make the regular season roster in 2016/17, when the team will ostensibly have greater flexibility, than he is this year, according to Michael.
  • Kelly Dwyer, Ben Rohrbach and Eric Freeman of Yahoo! Sports weighed in on which 2015 NBA draftee ended up in the best situation to succeed next season. Dwyer chose the KnicksKristaps Porzingis, while Rohrbach tabbed Justise Winslow of the Heat, and Freeman’s pick was the Nuggets’ Emmanuel Mudiay.
  • The Cavs had possessed one of the most tradeable contracts in the league in Brendan Haywood‘s non-guaranteed pact, which they had dealt to the Blazers at the end of July. Pincus, in a separate post, ran down some of the most desirable trade chip contracts around the NBA , including Amir Johnson and Jonas Jerebko of the Celtics, the WizardsKris Humphries and Martell Webster, as well as Ersan Ilyasova‘s deal with the Pistons.

Eddie Scarito contributed to this post.

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