J.R. Smith's future with the Cleveland Cavaliers seems to be further in doubt with every passing day.
Having played a big role in helping the Wine and Gold clinch their first-ever championship - coming back from 3-1 down to overcome the Golden State Warriors - the 30-year-old opted out of his $4.5 million player option in pursuit of a pay rise - in line with the hike in team salary caps.
The Cavaliers' general manager David Griffin has previously stated that the team wants to bring him back. However, their primary concern is the future of LeBron James, who is also yet to sign up after opting out of his contract.
The three-time Finals MVP will undoubtedly secure a max deal with his home franchise, but that leaves the future of Smith in limbo due to Cleveland's already sky-high team salary.
Speaking in an interview with ESPN, the former New York Knicks shooting guard admitted the situation is beginning to make him nervous.
“I’ve thought about that situation (leaving Cleveland), and I’ve thought about it the other way, too, going back and winning again,” Smith said. “Both are juggled in the air and I’m kind of nervous about that choice when it gets presented to me.”
The New Jersey native has really come into his own since moving to the Quicken Loans Arena. The desire and will to win of LeBron clearly rubbed off on Smith and he became a key component of their success against the Warriors.
Only time will tell if he will get a shot at going back-to-back with the Cavs.