The 2020 NBA Trade Deadline has passed and the Los Angeles Lakers have not made a move. As a result, they’re expected to be players in the buyout market.
One surprise name to look at, according to the New York Times’ Marc Stein, is J.R. Smith who the Lakers will reportedly work out in hopes of possibly signing him for the stretch run of the season.
The Lakers are expected to give free agent guard JR Smith a post-trade deadline audition (perhaps as soon as next week) and remain favorites to sign Darren Collison if Collison elects to make a comeback to the NBA — in addition to potential pickups on the buyout market
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) February 6, 2020
Smith has not played since November of last seasons. He left the Cleveland Cavaliers and was eventually let go of his contract.
Smith is a former teammate of LeBron James who won a championship with the Lakers star in Cleveland. Like James, Anthony Davis and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Smith is represented by Rich Paul of Klutch Sports.
At his peak, Smith was the ultimate bench scorer who could space the floor (career 37.3% shooter) and could defend wings fairly well when focused. The Lakers would not be expecting much from the guard but he could potentially play valuable minutes if he can defend.
The Lakers are also expected to be favorites for point guard Darren Collison who also has not played this season after announcing his retirement this summer. Collison is reportedly looking for a comeback and after being linked to both the Lakers and the Clippers, it seems like the purple and gold are the favorites to land him.
The Lakers would have to create a roster spot by waiving a player in order to sign either player. Most expect seldom-used guard Troy Daniels to be the casualty in such a transaction.