Lakers Rumors: JR Smith’s contract expected to end before deadline | Bleach Report

Cleveland Cavaliers' JR Smith dribbles during the first half of Game 3 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Indiana Pacers on Friday, April 20, 2018 in Indianapolis.  (AP Photo / Darron Cummings)

Darron Cummings / Associated Press

Veteran shooting guard JR Smith is expected to sign a deal with the Los Angeles Lakers for the remainder of the 2019-20 season, according to Marc Stein of New York Times.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski confirmed Stein’s report. The Cleveland Cavaliers quit Smith last July after he spent much of the past five seasons with the team.

It became a real possibility that the 34-year-old would catch up with a team when the NBA announced an expansion of the roster from 15 players to 17 as part of the return to game plan in Orlando, Florida, after the four league games. closing month due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In 2018-19, he averaged 6.7 points, 1.6 rebounds and 1.9 assists in just 11 games. He last appeared in a game on November 19, 2018, before the Cavs deactivated him for the remainder of the season.

The previous season, he appeared in 80 games and made 61 starts. He averaged 8.3 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.8 assists while shooting 40.3 percent from the field and 37.5 percent from the three-point range.

During his time in Cleveland, Smith played in four NBA Finals and was part of the only championship-winning team in franchise history in 2016.

While Smith does have some shortcomings, he is a dangerous shooter who can take over games beyond the arc when he reaches his pace.

He has three triples at a solid 37.3 percent career rate, and is eighth on the active career roster with 1,929 three-point field goals.

Smith no longer fits into plans for a rebuilding Cavs team and is focused on using younger players, but it was clear that it would be interesting for many teams across the league.

It is better to use it as an offensive catalyst from the bench, which is a role in which it has thrived at various points.

If Smith can take down his shots, that goes a long way in extending the floor and opening offensive opportunities for his teammates.

In Los Angeles, Smith will meet LeBron James, his teammate with the Cavaliers for parts of four seasons. Together, they reached four NBA finals and won a championship.

In a Lakers team led by James, Anthony Davis and Kyle Kuzma, Smith could carve out a niche for himself, especially since Avery Bradley is waiting for a league restart. Los Angeles needs players who can hit open shots created by LeBron, and Smith has shown that he is capable of it.

Smith also brings plenty of playoff experience to the table, which should help a team with championship aspirations.