The Los Angeles Lakers signing J.R. Smith was not a great move.
On Monday morning, Adrian Wojnarowski confirmed rumors that had been swirling around for quite some time.
Whispers of Smith as a Laker have been around for quite some time, with Lake Show Life author Ronald Agers foreshadowing the move as early as 4 months ago. At the time, despite reports of him working out with the team, I thought the rumors of a Smith-to-LA move were unfounded.
However, with Avery Bradley announcing that he would eschew joining his teammates in the Disney World bubble for family reasons, signing a veteran guard became the team’s number one priority.
From that standpoint, signing J.R. makes complete sense. He’s an experienced veteran who not only has extensive playoff experience but has extensive experience playing alongside LeBron James.
I’ve been asked in private how I feel about the signing, and in all honesty, my knee-jerk reaction was “this move is horrendous”.
I’ve since had time to reflect upon this, and have acknowledged that part of this reaction can be attributed to Game 1 of the 2018 finals being permanently seared into my brain.
When thinking about the move logically, I’ve come to realize that it could work out tremendously for the Los Angeles Lakers. After all, Smith is a career 37.3% three-point shooter and in theory, provides floor-spacing to a team that desperately needs any shooting it can find. In a best-case scenario, extra shooting could be the difference between winning and losing a key playoff game or series.
However, I think it’s naive to expect J.R. Smith to magically revert to the 27-year-old version of him, which based upon some of the chatter I’ve seen, seems to be a frighteningly common thought amongst fans. I think that in reality, despite impressive flashes, the J.R Smith signing with the Los Angeles Lakers will prove to be a bad move due to three reasons in particular.