Usually, when a team wins the NBA championship, they try their hardest to run back that same team for the next year. Apparently, the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers are not interested in doing so. And if they are, they have a funny way of showing it.
The Cleveland front office is in the middle of a long standoff with shooting guard J.R. Smith. Up until today, there hasn’t been much to be concerned about because no other team has emerged as a serious contender for signing Smith. Now, it appears that has changed.
— Bleacher Report NBA (@BR_NBA) October 9, 2016
Losing Smith would be a disaster for the Cavs. As inconsistent a player he can be, he was in the starting lineup for their championship team. Plus, LeBron James has made it exceptionally clear that he wants Smith back on the team. At the end of the day, LeBron’s happiness matters more than anything else for the Cavs.
This definitely wouldn’t be a bad move for the Celtics either. They are close to being legitimate contenders in the Eastern Conference after adding former Atlanta Hawk Al Horford. Adding some shooting in Smith while also weakening their biggest competition would be a massive success. It may be a little difficult to navigate as far as salary cap restrictions go, but it is certainly worth looking into.