With few options remaining, J.R. Smith will probably re-sign with the Cavaliers for next season, writes Terry Pluto of The Plain Dealer. Smith realizes he made a mistake by declining a $6.4MM option, Pluto asserts, but he’s unlikely to get the offer he wants at this stage of free agency. Only the Sixers and Blazers have enough cap room remaining to give Smith a raise, and neither is likely to come calling. Smith’s best option, according to Pluto, is to take the Cavs’ offer and try to get a better deal when the salary cap soars next summer.
Here’s more from around the Eastern Conference …
- As Tristan Thompson and the Cavs continue to wait each other out, it becomes increasingly likely that the power forward will remain on Cleveland’s roster next season, Pluto notes in the same story. The restricted free agent hasn’t received an offer from another team, and no one has contacted the Cavs about a sign-and-trade deal. If Thompson accepts the team’s qualifying offer, he can’t be traded without his permission. Pluto estimates the sides are at least $10MM apart.
- The Heat are reportedly set to sign unrestricted free agent center Keith Benson and the move has more to do with stocking the team’s D-League than bolstering the rotation at power forward and center, Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel reports. Benson is expected to be signed to a non-guaranteed contract for training camp, Winderman adds.
- Carmelo Anthony is exhibiting a Phil Jackson-like calm when it comes to accepting all the changes in New York, writes Kevin Ding of Bleacher Report. Anthony has watched Jackson replace all of his teammates and his coach over the past 18 months. Still, the Knicks‘ star accepts the turnover, confident that something better is being built. “The guys that we brought in are great pieces to have on the team,” Anthony said. “They all know their roles. They know what they have to do,” Anthony continued. “It’s just a matter of us coming together.” Anthony also denied rumors that he opposed the drafting of Kristaps Porzingis.
Will Joseph contributed to this post.