A longtime LeBron James teammate is expected to join the Lakers for the NBA’s restart in Orlando upcoming month.
In accordance to an ESPN report, the Lakers are finalizing a deal for J.R. Smith, the 34-year-outdated totally free-wheeling guard who has not played an NBA recreation because November of 2018. NBA teams have till July 1 to sign totally free agent replacements for gamers not taking part when the year resumes July 30 at Walt Disney Planet Vacation resort in Orlando, Fla.
Smith is expected to be the roster replacement for Avery Bradley, who explained to the Lakers very last week that he would not join them owing to family members issues. Smith has properly trained domestically for months, and had a training for the Lakers in February soon before the hiatus.
Smith is a 15-year veteran who won Sixth Male of the Year in 2013.
A Klutch Athletics consumer, Smith walked away from the Cavaliers workforce for the duration of the 2018-19 year when it became distinct they were rebuilding and he would have a scaled-down purpose. Smith has not played an NBA minute because. His very last comprehensive year in 2017-18, he averaged 8.3 factors and 2.9 rebounds for each recreation, and he shot 38 p.c from 3-level range for the duration of his Cavs tenure.
Whilst Smith could get on some of the roles Bradley played as a shooter and defender, the lion’s share of Bradley’s minutes are expected to go to Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Alex Caruso, who loaded in for the previously aspect of the year when Bradley was sidelined with a hairline fracture in his leg.
Given that Smith is Bradley’s replacement for the restart, the Lakers do not want to reduce Bradley, who has a player choice for the 2nd year of his deal. ESPN claimed that Smith will get a minimum deal pro rata for the remainder of the year.
So far, Bradley is the only Laker who has officially explained to the workforce he’s not participating in out the year.