Good morning. Let's basketball.
THIS IS QUITE J.R. SMITH: J.R. Smith opted out of a $6 million contract, believing he could get some long-term security after a nice second-half to the season and playoff run. Instead, he's been left to wither on the vine, and the Cavaliers are now offering less than the money Smith gave up. For what it's worth, this is how Bonzi Wells and Latrell Sprewell -- two other high-maintenance wings seeking big money at tricky times in their careers -- faded away.
$MART DECISION: Al Horford will not be negotiating an extension this summer. He will be an unrestricted free agent in 2016. He's going to be a top-five free agent too, barring injury.
STICK TO SPORTS: Man, NBA players like some BAD movies. (Says the guy who counts BILL AND TED'S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE as his personal CITIZEN KANE.)
WELL ... Damon Stoudamire argues that the Jail Blazers got a bad rap. I would argue that American dedication to punnery fueled the longer-than-fair life of the moniker and thus the mocking. But in the Jail Blazers' heyday, the critiques of Portland players' lawless ways were rather fair in my estimation. The stories are just incredible.
GOOD JOB, AUSTRALIA: Australia swept a home-and-home with New Zealand, winning FIBA Oceania and guaranteeing a spot in the 2016 Olympics. That's right: two wins gets you a berth in Oceania. Meanwhile, good teams in Europe and the Americas will have to sweat out hypercompetitive continental tournaments to earn a spot. This remains one of the dumbest situations in sports. Just combine Asia and Oceania already, FIBA!
Happy Wednesday. See you next time.