Happy to say that I am returning to the Cavs! It's been a long ride this summer but I can say for sure, well worth the wait. When I opted out of my contract, I wanted to understand the landscape of the NBA and where I fit best. The Cavaliers had things they needed to do in order to piece together a championship caliber roster. I ended up deciding that instead of potentially securing a larger deal elsewhere, I wanted to rejoin an incredible organization in pursuit of the ultimate goal, an NBA championship. Thank you to the Cavaliers for making this happen. Can't wait to get started! #TheLand
The deal is for two years and more than $10 million total, sources told ESPN.com. The second year of the contract will be a player option.
Because of collective bargaining agreement rules, Smith will be able to veto any trade this season, giving him some added control over his future. The same is true for recent Cavs signings of LeBron James, James Jones and Matthew Dellavedova.
In June, Smith opted out of the final year of his deal, which would have paid him $6.4 million for this season. He was unable to find a richer deal on the free-agent market and ultimately returned to the Cavs for a pay cut, though the player option will allow him to guarantee himself more total money in addition to retaining the option to test free agency again next season.
An 11-year veteran, Smith was acquired in a trade with the Knicks in January and helped the Cavs finish the regular season 34-13 after the deal was made. He averaged 12.7 points and 3.5 rebounds per game in that stretch and seemed to fit in nicely as well as bond with James.
Smith was instrumental in the Cavs' Eastern Conference finals sweep of Atlanta, averaging 18.0 points on 50 percent shooting from the field and 47.1 percent from 3-point range, along with 7.5 rebounds in four games. He struggled mightily in the Finals against Golden State, however, averaging 11.5 points on 31.2 percent from the floor and 29.4 percent from 3-point range, along with 4.3 rebounds. The Cavs lost in six games.
The Cavs now have 12 players under contract, eight of whom have signed contracts this summer, and the bulk of their Finals team is back in place. Their payroll is now just under $95 million, more than $10 million over the luxury tax line.
They are in a stalemate with restricted free-agent big man Tristan Thompson. They have also been in talks with 2008 second-round draft pick Sasha Kaun. No deal is in place with Kaun, but both sides expect to have a deal in place by training camp, sources said.