The Los Angeles Lakers are going to remain heavily linked to Darren Collison after not making a move at the NBA Trade Deadline, but it appears he’s not the only free agency addition they may look at. According to Marc Stein of the New York Times, L.A. will likely give former LeBron James teammate and soup aficionado J.R. Smith — who is currently a free agent after getting waived by the Cleveland Cavaliers — a look:
The Lakers are expected to give free agent guard JR Smith a post-trade deadline audition (perhaps as soon as next week) and remain favorites to sign Darren Collison if Collison elects to make a comeback to the NBA -- in addition to potential pickups on the buyout market— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) February 6, 2020
Courtesy of the talented people at SB Nation, we have an idea of what LeBron handing J.R. his practice jersey for that workout might look like:
Smith shot 37.5% from three in his last full season (2017-18), and it should be noted that he — like Lakers players LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Talen Horton-Tucker — is represented by Rich Paul and Klutch Sports, the latter of whom Smith watched a Lakers game with from courtside seats earlier this year.
Still, Smith also has not played NBA basketball in more than a year, so it remains to be seen how ready he’d be to contribute to a team right away.
If the Lakers were going to add Smith, Collison or any other player, they would have to cut a player on the roster currently, as they have the NBA maximum of 15 players already. The most likely candidates for that would seem to be DeMarcus Cousins — who seems exceedingly unlikely to play this year and likely could continue rehabbing with the team even if cut — or Troy Daniels, who hasn’t really made his mark.
But those are just my best guesses, not necessarily guarantees to be let go. We’ll see what happens over the next few weeks as the Lakers look at their options.