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J.R. Smith announces he's re-signing with Cavaliers

Smith's time languishing in free agency is over.

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

J.R. Smith is going back to Cleveland. The 29-year-old shooting guard announced he's returning to the Cavs on Instagram on Thursday night. He will sign a contract that'll pay him $5 million next season and give him a player option for 2016-17, according to's Chris Haynes. He'll also have a no-trade clause.

Fair or not, Smith's value fluctuated drastically throughout the Cavaliers' run to the NBA Finals last season. Players can earn tons of money by playing well on a high visibility playoff team that makes a deep run, and while Smith did play well against the Hawks and Bulls, he never had a breakout game playing the Warriors (final minute of Game 6 aside).

Although Smith struggled mightily in the Finals, he opted out of his $6.4 million contract for next season in hopes of securing a more lucrative long-term deal. But he struggled to find a new deal to his liking, and now the erratic shooting guard is back in Cleveland.

"Happy to say that I am returning to the Cavs!" Smith posted on his Instagram. "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"

Headed into a season, you never know what Smith you're going to get. He's a scorer who shoots 42 percent career from the floor and 37 percent from behind the line. In some years, his shot selection leads to huge scoring averages while at other times, he can be an absolute liability to whatever team he's playing for.

Smith's best year came in 2012-13 as a New York Knick, when he averaged 18 points and won the NBA Sixth Man of the Year award. However, he's yet to repeat a season anywhere as successful since.

Bringing back Smith didn't appear to be a high priority for the Cavaliers, but he has value to the team. Smith's shooting is important because LeBron James can set anyone up for a shot when he goes into bully ball mode. Smith was asked to do too much in the NBA Finals, but as a scoring option you can but don't need to rely on coming off the bench, he makes sense for their roster.

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