JR Smith doesn’t appear like he’ll be heading to the Lakers.
Los Angeles is “an unlikely destination” for the 33-year-old guard after he clears waivers, according to a report from ESPN, which cites unidentified league sources.
Smith was reportedly released by the Cavaliers on Monday (Tuesday in Manila).
Once guard JR Smith clears waivers, the Los Angeles Lakers are an unlikely destination, league sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 15, 2019
Cleveland had been looking to move Smith, along with his partially guaranteed $15.6 million contract for 2019-20, and it was “surprised” it didn’t find a taker for him, according to an earlier report from Cleveland.com.
Smith played in just 11 games in 2018-19 before he agreed to part ways with the Cavaliers and sat out the rest of the season. Cleveland had a chance to move Smith before the deadline but decided to hold on to him with the hopes of dealing him this summer, according to Cleveland.com.
Smith was traded from the Knicks to Cleveland in January 2015. He was a valuable contributor during the Cavaliers’ championship run in 2015-16 but he has declined since then.
Smith averaged 8.3 points in 2017-18 and just 6.7 during his 11 appearances last season. The veteran has also played for New Orleans and Denver over his 15-year NBA career.
The Lakers, meanwhile, revamped their roster this summer as they acquired Anthony Davis from the Pelicans to pair with LeBron James. Smith was teammates with James during his time in Cleveland.
Los Angeles had cap space to add a third star but missed out on Kawhi Leonard, who signed with the Clippers. L.A. then inked Avery Bradley, Danny Green, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, JaVale McGee, Quinn Cook, DeMarcus Cousins, Rajon Rondo and Alex Caruso to deals.