The veteran shooting guard JR Smith and the Los Angeles Lakers are on the verge of finalizing a deal, which would make the player a member of the purple and gold until the end of the campaign.
Apart from the news that Cam Newton and New England agreed to their terms of cooperation, this is the biggest story of the day in the world of sports.
Lakers needed a replacement for Avery Bradley, who already decided not to participate in the restart of the season, which created a huge gap in the backcourt. The logical solution for the LAL was to contact Smith, who already tried to make a deal with the franchise from California. He would participate in a workout this February, but back then, Frank Vogel and his staff gave an edge to Dion Waiters, who signed a contract then.
JR Smith will be another Dwight Howard story for the Lakers!!! Carry on… pic.twitter.com/sUt43kiX6w
— Kendrick Perkins (@KendrickPerkins) June 29, 2020
However, the situation changed, forcing the Lakers to acquire the former NBA champion and the winner of the NBA Sixth Man of the Year award.
Smith was a part of the Cavaliers team, the one who played in four straight finals, winning the 2016 title, after a legendary comeback from 1-3 in the series, the only one in the history of the league. He was a starter at the shooting guard position and one of the most important players on the roster.
After LeBron jumped to LA, Smth wasn’t very happy with the new circumstances, with the team starting to sink towards the bottom of the Eastern Conference. He would publicly show his displeasure on a couple of occasions, and the Cavs released him in July 2019.
What worries many LA Lakers fans is his current physical condition. Although he worker individually, having training sessions throughout the majority of the season, Smith played his last NBA game in November 2018, which is a long period for one player, regardless of his qualities.
What Lakers need now, is a guy who is ready to jump straight into the battle, as they have just eight games until the end of the regular part of the campaign, and after that, the playoff battles. The situation in the West is very complicated, with several teams aiming to win the conference and reach the NBA Finals. That would only increase the pressure on the experienced veteran.