JR Smith is back in the NBA, after many speculated he would sign with the Los Angeles Lakers, it is now official. He will join the team as they head to Orlando to finish out the 2019-20 season in the bubble league. This comes on the heels of Avery Bradley opting not to play.
Smith hasn’t played in the NBA this season and hasn’t been very effective in a few years. But videos surfaced of him training and looking in great shape. Teaming back up with LeBron will help his cause, as he played some of his best basketball next to the superstar in Cleveland.
It remains to be seen how much Smith will play. He will have some rust, as 5 on 5 basketball isn’t the same playing against players out of the league. But he has plenty of time to get up to speed with the start of the season still four weeks away.
The Lakers are contenders and seemed poised to make a deep run. They need everyone on board, losing Bradley hurt the team. So they needed someone familiar with the system to step in and provide some spark off the bench.
The team also signed Dion Waiters before the pandemic hit and should provide for an interesting dynamic. Both players have experience deep in playoff runs and also with LeBron.
LeBron continues to beat father-time but it’s only a matter of time before his window shuts. So he understands the importance of trying to win a ring right now. He most likely signed off on the Smith signing.
The Lakers are bound to hold onto the number one seed in the western conference heading into the playoffs. While that may help them matchup wise, there is no longer home court advantage so that doesn’t play much into it.