By: Opinionated MJ
All the King’s men? LeBron wants J.R. Smith. Looks like Cleveland is playing hardball with making this deal happen. I personally believe that the organization thinks they can win without him. How do you not bring in a player who is in demand by arguably the best player in the game right now? How do you not answer his call to keep the team intact and let them fully defend their title? How do you not give LeBron James that opportunity? Let’s talk a bit.
I see the Cavs organization looking through a totally different lens now that they’ve won a championship on LeBron’s back. I could be wrong, let me throw that out there. They could be playing hardball with J.R. Smith in order to get him to agree to less and to have the chance to defend and chase another title with LeBron James. So we have two battles. LeBron is usually able to get his players the deals they want, and Cleveland as an organization, is pitching without words by having LeBron James as the reason why J.R. Smith could accept less. Would you accept less? We’ve heard a lot of people talk about making your money. Would YOU, REALLY, accept less if you were J.R. Smith?
You’ve Just come off an important season where you actually did serve a great purpose to this team. Without his 3 ball and his ability driving to the hole, then he would actually be replaceable. Is he still replaceable anyway? He is streaky. He does show up sometimes and disappear every now and then. Do you give J.R. Smith 15 million per year? I understand how the luxury tax will work with Cleveland should they give him what they want. Then I ask myself this question… Does Cleveland think they can still succeed without having J.R. Smith on a LeBron led team? I truly believe this is their stance, or they would’ve caved in by now and made some sense of it by signing him and not making this an issue with LeBron.
LeBron had the chance to hold out but that wouldn’t be exhibiting proper leadership coming off of an NBA Championship going into the next season. It already sounds like he’s pissed with what’s going on upstairs. Let’s not forget the letter wrote about him when he left. Let’s not forget that they made it their business to tell everyone that LeBron isn’t running the organization. Let’s not forget that word is that LeBron also came back to Cleveland cause he would have more pull with this organization as opposed to Pat Riley and Miami. Although, Pat Riley drafted Shabazz Napier cause that’s who LeBron wanted. LeBron bolted shortly after. Now they have him locked into a multi-year deal. There’s no more of that 1 and done pressure for Cleveland right now. He has no out for 2 years. So they now have the aces in their hands for now. They can actually call the shots and LeBron will have to deal with it unless he does some sort of hold out. He won’t do it though. Cleveland knows this.
With that being said though, this IS LeBron James. He’s the one who knows who he needs next to him in order to succeed. He knows the formula to win a championship. He knows what it takes from himself and from his teammates, and more importantly, HIS ORGANIZATION, in order to win a championship. Most championships are paid for. You have to pay for quality talent. J.R. Smith is good with LeBron James leading the ship and that should be enough for the Cavs to re-sign him to a deal that works for both sides. Give him his money and he has to accept the amount of years you want to give him. I don’t think J.R. would actually sign with someone else would he? I’ve only heard of the Celtics being interested. I think he would do well for the Chicago Bulls who are starving for shooters, no matter how streaky. I think he would also be good for the Pacers, Mavs, and Raptors.
This is probably actually not a big deal. I think this deal would get done. How could you not appease the desires of the man who promised and brought a championship to Cleveland. How could you? Last year, Tristan Thompson was in this situation as well and he got paid handsomely on playoff performance alone. Will LeBron get what he wants this time? The stakes are different, the pressures have switched sides. Would Cleveland actually make LeBron and the Cavs work harder in order to reach the finish line this season? I really can’t see that happening. We’ve got about 2 weeks left before the season begins. I expect a deal with the next week or their may be trouble in paradise, fresh off of a championship. That would only be the sign of a selfish franchise. That would do nothing but make me fully remember what they think of LeBron James. The letter would be relevant all over again.
Sign J.R. Smith! Although I will say if he walks, I expect Ray Allen to be in a Cavs uniform in his place.