As if 2020 couldn’t get any more strange, J.R. Smith is expected to join the Los Angeles Lakers for the NBA’s restart in Orlando.
Smith has 15 years of experience in the NBA, but he hasn’t played a game of professional basketball since November of 2018 despite the fact that he’s been a free agent since July of last year. That couldn’t be because he’s solely responsible for the worst blunder in Finals history, could it?
On today’s episode of “Lakers, Explained,” Harrison and Christian talk about Smith, how he differs from Avery Bradley and whether or not it’s realistic to assume he’ll get playing time. Smith has the least amount of experience on the team when it comes to playing for Frank Vogel, but he has the most experience playing with LeBron James. Which one will prove to be more valuable?
They also get into the players that could see their playing time eaten into as a result of Smith’s arrival. Will he soak up some of the minutes Bradley left behind? Or will he play at the expense of someone like Alex Caruso or Kyle Kuzma, the latter of whom was starting to spend more time at the small forward position due to the team’s signing of Markieff Morris. For his career, Smith spent 31% of his playing time at the 3.
He may end up riding the bench for the entirety of the season, but for right now, all possibilities have to be considered.