The Los Angeles Lakers are expected to sign swingman J.R. Smith to a rest-of-season contract, according to Marc Stein of The New York Times. The Lakers recently lost shooting guard Avery Bradley, as he chose to sit out the restart of the 2019-20 season.
The Lakers had been searching for another cog at the position, immediately landing on Smith, who hasn’t seen action in more than a year.
The 34-year-old could also help out with his perimeter defense and outside shooting, making 37.3 percent of his career three-point attempts. Even with Danny Green and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope on the roster, the squad could use more shooting depth while ranking just 13th in three-point percentage and 21st in threes made per game.
Smith will reunite with former Cleveland Cavaliers teammate LeBron James, who Smith spent four seasons with in Cleveland, that included four consecutive trips to the NBA Finals. Smith was a part of the 2016 Cavaliers squad who became the first team in NBA history to come back from a 3-1 deficit in the Finals.
Smith won the Sixth Man of the Year Award in 2013, but is perhaps most remembered for his infamous folly in Game 1 of the 2018 NBA Finals when Smith forgot what the score was after the Cavaliers got an offensive rebound in the dying seconds and failed to get a shot off thinking Cleveland had the lead. The Cavs would later lose in overtime.
The Lakers (36-10) have their eyes on winning a championship in Orlando, Florida this season.