Michigan GOP recognizes new chairman in Macomb County as fight intensifies

Friday’s roundup: Cavaliers re-sign free agent Smith

Detroit News wire services
J.R. Smith

Cleveland — The final piece to the Cavaliers’ championship defense is reportedly in place. The Cavaliers and J.R. Smith agreed to a four-year, $57-million deal Friday, according to a league source.

Smith, 31, was an unrestricted free agent who earned about $5 million with the Cavaliers last season. He made a career-high 204 3-pointers last season and emerged as a top two-way player. The agreement came as the Cavaliers were in Chicago to face the Bulls in an exhibition game. Smith’s first game with the Cavaliers could come Tuesday in the exhibition finale against the Wizards at Ohio State. Coach Tyronn Lue already said he was going to treat Tuesday’s game as a dress rehearsal for the regular season.

Smith averaged 12.4 points last season and shot 40-percent from the 3-point line. He is represented by Klutch Sports, the same agency that represents LeBron James and Tristan Thompson. James expressed his frustration recently during the negotiations and urged the Cavs to get something done.

“Negotiations are always two sides, but J.R. did his part,” James said two weeks ago. “He showed up every day. Worked his (butt) off every day. Became a two-way player, a model citizen in Cleveland and he’s a fan favorite, obviously we all know that. ... We just miss him. We miss having him around. He’s a big piece of our team and they just need to get it done.”

The Cavs were hesitant to go four years on Smith, but had no way to replace him. They are well into the luxury tax again this season and have few trade assets to pair with their $9.5 million trade exception. Similarly, the number of teams that could offer Smith the type of contract he sought was limited.

Smith’s return means the Cavaliers starting lineup from their championship team returns intact. Iman Shumpert is expected to slide back into a reserve role.

Davis out two weeks

The Pelicans say forward Anthony Davis is expected to return to basketball activities within 10 to 14 days after spraining his right ankle during an exhibition game against the Rockets in China on Wednesday.