JR Smith to Lakers has been confirmed and here we look at how his presence could help LeBron James and the Lakers win that elusive NBA title.
The LA Lakers were dealt with a major blow as soon as the NBA restart was announced, with Avery Bradley confirming that he would not be joining the squad in Orlando owing to personal reasons.
Lakers confirm JR Smith signing
The franchise then needed to quickly focus their attention on getting available free agents on the block, something that they have managed to do pretty well now. The Lakers have just confirmed that they have added JR Smith to their roster for the NBA Bubble restart.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 1, 2020
Losing Bradley was quite a loss for the top seeded Lakers, due to his tough perimeter defense, absorbing difficult minutes and reliable mid range game and trustworthy three point shooting.
It’s worth noting that Bradley was one of the key factors why Lakers overcame Kawhi and Clippers in their last matchup. And thus, in order to replace him, the Lakers have gone in for the experienced JR Smith, who also has a decent enough history with LeBron James.
Why JR Smith to Lakers is a great move?
Smith’s familiarity with LeBron and his past experience of playing alongside with him in Cleveland would give a boost to the existing strong chemistry and camaraderie that the Lakers have built over the regular season.
He is a reliable spot up shooter and would give the second unit much needed scoring punch and can hold his own against many matchups. The only concerning issue here, though, is that Smith hasn’t played since 2018, and might be rusty come playoff time.
The pros of signing Smith are his obvious connections with James and the veteran presence along with his floor-spacing ability where he can catch fire from deep and gel well playing off the ball.
JR Smith has OFFICIALLY signed with the Lakers 🚨 @TheRealJRSmith
— Overtime (@overtime) July 1, 2020
During a pivotal Game 3 of the 2016 NBA Finals, Smith went 5 of 10 from 3-point range, and finished the game with 20 points to give the Cavaliers their first win of the series this speaks volume about his abilities but this is almost four years ago and a lot has changed since than.
Expecting him to be in game shape is a tough ask, especially on a team like the Lakers that has championship ambitions.