Recent Lakers rumors are that J.R. Smith has emerged as the front-runner to be signed by the Los Angeles Lakers.
In light of Avery Bradley opting out of joining the Los Angeles Lakers in the resumed 2019-2020 NBA season in Orlando, recent Lakers rumors have been about who might replace him.
On one hand, they are going to be missing the player who took up most of the point guard minutes for the Lakers. However, due to the professionalism and loyalty to the Lakers that Bradley has shown, the Lakers have time to find their replacement for him. Due to the team already having a front-runner it seems as if Bradley and his team let the Lakers know about his decision well before he made his choice public.
As of now, according to a tweet from Adrian Wojnarowski, the Lakers frontrunner to fill Bradley’s spot is J.R. Smith. Recently, Smith was seen with Anthony Davis and LeBron James enjoying a bike ride in Los Angeles, which could be pointing to LeBron being all for him and J.R. teaming up again.
While it would not quite fill the hole at point guard that Bradley leaves, adding Smith to the team would be a great addition to an already powerhouse Lakers team. If the team were to sign Smith, they would be able to go many ways with their new starting lineup.
It will be very interesting to see how Frank Vogel will play this sudden change of events. Hypothetically, the Lakers could have LeBron play point guard and have either Kyle Kuzma, J.R. Smith, Markieff Morris, or Dion Waiters play small forward.
Or, they could keep the starting lineup the exact way they had it going into the suspended season just sliding Alex Caruso into the starting point guard spot rather than Avery Bradley. Signing J.R. Smith will add depth to an already deep wing position on the team, however, historically, J.R. is one of the best three-point shooters of all-time.
Along with this, he has plenty of playoff experience and would fit in just fine to a locker room filled with veterans and players who are hungry to win. He would also fit into the something to prove theme that looms over the team and I believe makes them so motivated and competitive in every game.
The last major moment we saw J.R. in was the 2018 NBA finals when notoriously in game one he dribbled out the clock in a tied game in which the Cavaliers would go on to lose in overtime. It is likely that J.R. will be doing everything he can to make us all forget about that moment and will motivate him to do great things in the Lakers playoff run and a hopeful finals appearance.
Lastly, he has already played many seasons with LeBron and is the perfect player to put alongside him and Anthony Davis. He is someone who can be hot for an entire game and does not need the ball in his hands to be effective.
His elite three-point shooting also forces defenders to double someone like LeBron or Davis and leave Smith wide open on the three-point line, or LeBron and AD will have a single man on them in the paint. J.R. would be the perfect role player for the Lakers and could even be the reason that the team wins a game or two like he was during his time in Cleveland.