KEY POINTS

  • Smith to work out with Lakers
  • There is no guarantee Smith will be signed
  • Smith has not played for more than a year

J.R. Smith is a veteran NBA free agent who has mysteriously been passed up teams in need of a 3-and-D player. He has not seen action for more than a year now, raising questions on his conditioning. The Los Angeles Lakers will find out next week when they work out the 34-year-old player.

According to Brandon Robinson of Heavy.com, the Lakers will give Smith a workout but without guarantees. Los Angeles will likely want to see how fit the former NBA Sixth Man of the Year is first. He last played for the Cleveland Cavaliers last season. He played in 11 games averaging 6.7 points, 1.6 rebounds, and 1.9 assists, according to Basketball-Refrence.com.

Smith found his NBA career on hold after he sought a trade in November 2018. He criticized the Cavs on their outlook at that time, believing the team's goal was not to win. The 6-foot-6 swingman got his walking papers in July 2019 when Cleveland officially waived him.

Looking at his accomplishments, there is no question that Smith could be an asset to teams in need of a wing player who can also defend. Among the teams in need of one include the Philadelphia 76ers and the Los Angeles Clippers. If not, there are teams plagued by injuries who have curiously not tried out the 18th overall pick of the 2004 NBA Draft. The Golden State Warriors are one of them, a team that could use some added help on a limited budget.

As for the Lakers, it will be interesting if Smith makes the grade. But as most know, the priority of Los Angeles is getting a playmaker to help out in the backcourt. Smith is someone who has not been known to play the point guard position. Unless head coach Frank Vogel makes some adjustments to the current roster, Smith's chances are at best 50-50.

It will be interesting to see as well what former Cavs teammate LeBron James has to say about Smith. Both played together for several years although most remember that forgettable blunder during game 1 of the 2017-18 NBA Finals. That was when he opted to dribble out the time, thinking they had won then.

The Lakers in a good position to win it all this season. On whether they would take a chance on Smith is anybody's guess. If it does, the one-time NBA champion could end up winning his second ring with the Lakers.

JR Smith Cleveland Cavaliers JR Smith #5 of the Cleveland Cavaliers defended by Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors in the first half during Game Four of the 2018 NBA Finals at Quicken Loans Arena on June 8, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. Photo: Jason Miller/Getty Images