Thu, 06 Aug 2020

Lakers sign JR Smith ahead of NBA restart

Field Level Media
02 Jul 2020, 04:40 GMT+10

Free-agent guard JR Smith has signed a contract with the Los Angeles Lakers for the rest of the season, the team announced Wednesday.

Terms of the deal were not released.

The Lakers and Smith reportedly have been discussing a deal since starting guard Avery Bradley opted out of the season restart in order to stay with his family.

Smith, 34, has not played in the NBA since an 11-game stint with the Cleveland Cavaliers at the start of the 2018-19 season, when he accused the team of tanking before eventually parting ways.

His last full season came in 2017-18 with the Cavaliers, when he averaged 8.3 points and 2.9 rebounds in 80 games (61 starts) in LeBron James' final season before he left to join the Lakers. In Game 1 of the NBA Finals that year, Smith infamously lost track of the score in a gaffe that ultimately led to Cleveland losing to Golden State in overtime.

Across 14-plus seasons, Smith has career averages of 12.5 points and 3.2 rebounds in 971 games (395 starts).

NBA teams will travel to Orlando between July 7-9 to begin training camps before restarting the season July 30.

The Lakers will play their first game that day against the Los Angeles Clippers. When the season was halted on March 11 because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Lakers held a 5.5-game lead over the Clippers in the Western Conference standings.

--Field Level Media

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