The Cleveland Cavaliers have today confirmed the re-signing of one member of their 2014-15 roster to a new deal, although its perhaps not the name fans had been hoping to see return to the Quicken Loans Arena.
With Tristan Thompson still at odds with the franchise over terms on a new contract, the Cavaliers took the chance Thursday to officially announce that J.R. Smith has signed a new deal.
Smith, like Thompson, had tested the free agency market this offseason but had found few suitors. Indeed, his return to the Cavs for the 2015-16 NBA campaign will see him earn less than had he opted in back in early summer.
Despite his initial attempts to seek options elsewhere, there had been much speculation over the past couple of weeks that Smith would be returning to Cleveland this month after all.
Wednesday saw the first sources reveal a deal was in place, but it wasn't until today's announcement from franchise general manager David Griffin that the deal became official.
The terms of the deal are believed to see the controversial guard earn $5 million next season. With Smith having turned down a $6.5 million option the end result is something of a win for the Cavaliers.
The Cavs are getting back a man who averaged 12.8 points last year and was an asset on defence right up until the NBA Finals, and they're paying less than they initially expected too.
Unfortunately though, even with J.R. Smith officially back on board, the elephant in the Cleveland room remains Tristan Thompson.
Despite rumors dating as far back as July that the team were certain to agree a deal with the breakout star, the team is still at loggerheads with the player's representatives and are refusing to pay out a max-deal he is craving.
Cavs fans: Is your team strong enough to go all the way next season without Thompson on board? Have your say in the comments below...