J.R. Smith wanted to test the waters in NBA free agency. Ultimately, he decided winning was more important than anything else.

Smith revealed on his Instagram account that he originally opted out of his contract with the Cavs to get a better grasp on the league and exactly how/where he fit in. He also wanted to give Cleveland time to figure out their roster, as well as whether or not he was a key piece they wanted to keep.

“When I opted out of my contract, I wanted to understand the landscape of the NBA and where I fit best,” said Smith. “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.”

Smith waited a while to make his decision, which comes long after the likes of LeBron James, Kevin Love, Iman Shumpert and even Matthew Dellavedova re-signed with the team. Richard Jefferson and Mo Williams have also joined the team during the time Smith has been thinking over his options.

It’s arguable Smith simply didn’t find the ideal fit he was truly seeking, but cynicism aside, Smith seems to be heading back to Cleveland for the right reasons: to be a part of a special team that could win a championship.

The Cleveland Cavaliers were already a pretty good bet to win the 2015-16 NBA Finals, with or without J.R. Smith. Shumpert was brought back to give the team a stable defender who can also hit the timely outside shot, while the same can be said for the feisty Dellavedova. Mo Williams also came in to provide a spark off the bench, hit three’s and help backup starter Kyrie Irving. Slowly but surely, J.R. Smith was losing his spot on this Cavs squad, and with Jamal Crawford trade rumors heating up, Smith probably decided to sign on the dotted line at the perfect team.

Smith’s deal is expected to be for the next two seasons with the first year worth roughly $5 million. That allows Smith to do several things: get paid, win a title and then try to land one more big deal with another team and possibly a bigger role when he’s still in his prime at 31 years old.

The real question, of course, is what does Smith do for the Cavs right here, right now? The answer is a good amount. Smith is a floor spacer, a capable defender when he puts his mind to it and a solid scorer in general. Likely coming off the bench, he’s great for the second team offense and has shown in the past he can be a clutch performer. A solid fit with the Cavs last year, Smith figures to once again have a prominent role and certainly won’t hurt Cleveland’s bid for their first NBA title ever. They had the league’s best NBA Finals odds (5/2) before Smith signed his latest deal, and those odds only got stronger.

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