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The 2016-17 NBA season is quickly approaching, but J.R. Smith and the Cavaliers still haven't reached an agreement on a new contract yet. Smith spoke with us recently about his contract situation and said that he was hopeful he would be back in Cleveland—and he's also been spotted around the city in recent weeks—but as of right now, he doesn't have a deal in place. And it doesn't really sound like the two sides are all that close on a contract at this moment.
The whole thing isn't sitting well with LeBron James who spoke out on Friday and made some very strong comments about Smith not being at training camp with the Cavaliers. While referencing the team's stalemate with Tristan Thompson last year, LeBron told reporters that he can't believe he's being forced to "deal with this sh*t again."
"He's just too big of a piece to our team to have to deal with this for another training camp," LeBron said.
LeBron has shied away from getting too involved in contract negotiations in the past, but it's clear that he's frustrated by the lack of movement when it comes to Smith's contract.
It's worth noting that, before the 2015-16 NBA season, the Cavaliers waited all the way until Oct. 22 to re-sign Thompson. So Cleveland fans shouldn't start freaking out just yet. But general manager David Griffin revealed that the team made Smith a "very competitive and aggressive offer" this week that apparently wasn't accepted. So it's becoming more and more evident that this could drag on for a little while longer.