Last week, NBA free agent guard J.R. Smith said the Los Angeles Lakers hadn’t reached out to him yet. As of early Monday morning, it would seem that’s changed, as Shams Charania of The Athletic is reporting that the Lakers have scheduled a workout with Smith for “early this week.”
Marc Stein of the New York Times was the first to report that the Lakers intended to work out Smith at some point. The Lakers also reportedly intend to work out Smith’s fellow free agent guard and former LeBron James teammate Dion Waiters on Monday after waiving Troy Daniels on Sunday to open up an extra roster spot.
Adrian Wojnarowski and Dave McMenamin of ESPN reported that the Lakers are “in no rush to fill” the roster spot they opened up, however, preferring to vet their options on the market and/or wait and see if an injury gives them a particular position of need.
As things stand right now, one of the Lakers’ biggest holes so far this season has been ballhandling outside of LeBron James. Smith isn’t a point guard, so he wouldn’t necessarily fix any of the Lakers’ issues in that respect, but he would at least theoretically un-cramp the spacing for the team a bit. Smith shot 37.5% from behind the arc in his last full season (2017-18), and has made 37.3% of his threes over the course of his career.
We’ll see what comes out about Smith’s workout, and how things progress from there, but the Lakers giving him a look at least makes sense. We know that James trusts him, it just remains to be seen if the Lakers front office will feel the same.
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