The Cleveland Cavaliers have signed back JR Smith to a contract this summer and the Cavs are hoping to get an extension done next for Tristan Thompson and this comes as Sasha Kaun has signed a deal to add some bench depth for LeBron James.
The Cavaliers were interested in keeping Smith after he opted out of his contract this summer and he now will be back on a two year deal. According to Chris Haynes at the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Smith will make $5 million for next season and his contract has a player option for year two. Smith's contract also reportedly has a no trade clause and while the deal will pay him less than the $6.5 million that he opted out from, Smith now has some security in Cleveland.
Thompson could be next in line for a contract from the Cavaliers, as he is still on the market as a restricted free agent. Thompson and the Cavs have been working on a deal for quite some time and the sides have reportedly hit a "stalemate" in talks. Brian Windhorst at ESPN reports that there is no clear "precedent" with Thompson's situation and that has his camp and the Cavs trying to find middle ground.
Basketball Insiders reports that Thompson rejected a contract worth $80 million over five years, as he felt that other players in Thompson's "peer range" received better offers. Thompson reportedly is considering signing his qualifying offer and becoming a free agent next summer, but that is not close to happening yet. Thompson has shown great potential for the Cavs, but he is not a starter and plays behind Kevin Love in the rotation.
The Cavaliers have added to their bench for this season with Mo Williams and Richard Jefferson and now the team is adding another option with Sasha Kaun. According to Pro Basketball Talk, the Cavaliers have been considering signing the center from Russia all offseason, as the team held his draft rights after previously drafting him in 2008. Kaun played four years at Kansas in college and he helps add depth behind Timofey Mozgov on the roster. The Cavs also wanted to add some insurance in case Anderson Varejao doesn't stay healthy.
The Cavaliers have been very active this offseason and they have brought back Kevin Love, LeBron James, Iman Shumpert and James Jones along with Matthew Dellavedova and they are looking to make another finals run. Thompson is the last piece of the puzzle for the Cavaliers and James has mentioned the forward by name in the media about coming back long term. Thompson is reportedly looking for a deal over $90 million, but the Cavs may not want to go that high with Love also on the team.
Last season Smith came over to the Cavaliers with Iman Shumpert in a trade with the Knicks and the team was hoping to keep him this summer. The team reportedly has considered a Jamal Crawford trade, but that could be off the table now that Smith is back. Last season Smith averaged 12 points and was an effective offensive option off the bench.