Cleveland Cavaliers Rumors: JR Smith Contract Likely? Lakers Not Option, Tristan Thompson Return Soon, Anderson Varejao Trade Possible

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Aug 08, 2015 11:10 AM EDT
Tristan Thompson #13 of the Cleveland Cavaliers
Tristan Thompson #13 of the Cleveland Cavaliers celebrates with J.R. Smith #5 after making a basket at the buzzer at the end of the first quarter against the Atlanta Hawks during Game Four of the Eastern Conference Finals of the 2015 NBA Playoffs at Quicken Loans Arena on May 26, 2015 in Cleveland, Ohio. "

The Cleveland Cavaliers are expecting to sign back JR Smith to a contract soon over interest from the Lakers and 76ers, while Tristan Thompson and the Cavs are likely coming to an agreement on a contract extension after talks have continued and this comes as the team could consider an Anderson Varejao trade if they try to sign Sasha Kaun.

The Cavaliers have had time to work on deals with Smith and Thompson this offseason and they are last two major pieces for the Cavs to bring back. The Cavaliers have already signed back LeBron James, Matthew Dellavedova, Iman Shumpert and Kevin Love this offseason along with James Jones to help the bench. New players include Mo Williams and Richard Jefferson and they should give the Cavs solid depth off the bench.

UPDATE: Report has Thompson's talks far apart with Cavaliers. Qualifying offer option, if so, he likely will not return. Check here for moreCavaliers Rumors: Tristan Thompson Extension Talks Far Apart, Qualifying Offer Contract Option, JR Smith Return Coming?

The team has reportedly been interested in bringing back Smith despite the fact that they were "unhappy" about him opting out and a deal could be coming soon. According to Probasketballdraft on Twitter and Sheridan Hoops, sources have said that the team is looking to bring back both layers soon and that "it's just a matter of time until the Cavs re-sign" Smith and Thompson. The sources also said that the Cavs could consider keeping 14 players on the roster for now.

According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the Cavaliers and Thompson are still talking about a contract extension and the sides are "not" far apart on money numbers. Thompson was a strong piece for the Cavaliers last season after Kevin Love was injured and he averaged eight points and eight rebounds per game and he is a big part of the Cavs future. James has mentioned Thompson by name this offseason and said that he expects an extension to get done.

The 14 roster players could play into what the team was considering earlier in the offseason, as Brian Windhorst reported that the Cavs may look at Sasha Kaun as an option, as the team continues to have the draft rights for the Russian player. The Cavs reportedly have been interested in adding some depth up front, as Anderson Varejao is coming off of an injury and they could look for a backup for Timofey Mozgov if Varejao is not ready to come back as a full time player.

According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Varejao could eventually become a trade chip like Brendan Haywood was for the Cavs. Terry Pluto writes that Varejao's contract is through 2018, but that final year is non-guaranteed and that could get some teams interested in picking up the center if the Cavs make a move. The team has depth in numerous areas and if they make a trade they have the exceptions to use as well from the Haywood deal with Mike Miller.

The Cavaliers could also look at adding another small forward behind James and Richard Jefferson on the roster to add depth and to keep both players fresh. James has been to the finals multiple times in the past few years and he could have tired legs by the end of the season and should have his minutes managed at times. The team reportedly was interested in Tayshaun Prince earlier in the offseason and that could be an option for the Cavs.

Check here for more on the potential returns for JR Smith and Tristan Thompson and more on the Cavs offseason moves. Check here for more on potential roster moves for the Cavs left to make. The Cavs also could look at a trade with Jamal Crawford, according to reports. ,


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