The Los Angeles Lakers are finalizing a deal with veteran free agent J.R. Smith, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reports. Smith’s name had been linked to the franchise since Avery Bradley opted out of the Disney World restart.
Smith hasn’t played in the NBA since the 2018-19 campaign and that was an abbreviated campaign in which he only saw action in 11 contests. The year before, he was a member of the Cavs squad that lost in the 2018 NBA Finals.
While Smith will turn 35 and be nearly two years removed from his last taste of NBA action during the 2020 postseason, he’s an intriguing depth piece having averaged 12.5 points per game and shot .375 from beyond the arc throughout his career.
In 80 2017-18 games, Smith shot .375 from beyond the arc and scored 15 or more points four times in the postseason. He’ll reunite with LeBron James in Los Angeles and look to carve out a similar niche as a volume secondary scorer.
Smith will be signed as a replacement player and will earn the prorated minimum over the course of the 2019-20 campaign.