Central Notes: Smith, Terry, Novak, Pistons

Money is the only sticking point in negotiations between J.R. Smith and the Cavaliers, writes Sam Amico of Amicohoops.net. Smith wants to stay in Cleveland where he is comfortable with coach Tyronn Lue and was an important contributor to the Cavs’ championship run. The organization is happy with Smith’s clutch shooting and improved defense. However, the two sides appear to be far apart on salary, and it’s not certain that the situation will be resolved before the Cavaliers open training camp September 26th. Smith, who turns 31 next month, made $5MM last season. He has reportedly seen his bargaining power weakened by a lack of interest from other teams.

There’s more from the Central Division:

  • The Bucks are looking for leadership by adding veterans Jason Terry and Steve Novak to the league’s youngest roster, writes Charles F. Gardner of The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Terry, 38, confirmed today that he will sign with Milwaukee, and Novak, 33, is expected to re-sign soon after spending the end of last season with the Bucks.
  • The Pistons expect to have about $5MM in cap room next summer, but several decisions could push that number higher or lower, states Aaron McMann of MLive. The $5MM figure assumes that Detroit picks up the options on Stanley Johnson and Darrun Hilliard and that Aron Baynes opts out of the final year of his deal. However, the Pistons still need to find a third point guard and make a decision on whether to re-sign Reggie Bullock, who will be a free agent after next season.
  • The fear of losing Baynes next summer prompted the Pistons to target Boban Marjanovic, writes Keith Langlois of NBA.com. Detroit offered Marjanovic an offer sheet worth $21MM over three years, and the Spurs, who didn’t have his Bird rights, declined to match. Marjanovic has limited NBA experience, and coach/executive Stan Van Gundy credits extensive scouting work for enabling the Pistons to identify him as a worthwhile prospect.
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