Celtics reportedly interested in J.R. Smith
It seems like the shooting guard is more interested in staying in Cleveland
As the standoff between the Cleveland Cavaliers and free agent guard J.R. Smith continues, there is finally a report that another team has interest in him. According to the New York Daily News' Frank Isola, the Boston Celtics would like to add Smith to their bench:
It is likely that Smith, a one-time Sixth Man of the Year with the Knicks, will re-sign with Cleveland but there are several teams that have interest in the shooting guard. One team is the Boston Celtics, whose second unit could certainly use a little scoring punch.
Barring a trade to clear cap space, the Celtics have approximately $9 million to sign Smith. He's looking for a bigger payday, somewhere in the $15 million per season range. The Cavs are currently offering between $10 and $11 million annually. The Celtics would have to get close to $15 million for Smith to want to leave Cleveland to be a back-up to Avery Bradley.
This report was published on Saturday, one day after Smith was seen clowning around with LeBron James, Richard Jefferson, Channing Frye, Tristan Thompson, Kevin Love and Dahntay Jones at a Cleveland Indians playoff game. James has been vocal about wanting Smith and the Cavs to get a deal done, and Smith isn't exactly sending the message that he is serious about going elsewhere.
With that said, Boston could surely use Smith. It is one of the deeper teams in the league, but its reserve guards are not sharpshooters. Smith would fit in just fine, but as the Daily News noted, the Celtics would almost certainly have to manufacture cap space in order to sign him. There's no easy way to do that, and they should not even consider doing so unless they have Smith's word that he'd sign there.
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