Lakers Expected to Sign JR Smith For the Culture, Fans Celebrate

Mahlik Campbell

music /
JR Smith

Get the Hennessy ready – JR Smith is coming back. 🔥

Ahead of the closing of the NBA's player transaction window on Tuesday night, Marc Stein from The New York Times is reporting that the Los Angeles Lakers (LeBron James *cough*) are poised to sign Smith to a deal extending through the rest of the season.

ESPN insider Adrian Wojnarowski seconded the news with his own tweet.

Woj also confirmed that Smith and the Lakers have been communicating ever since guard Avery Bradley opted out of the upcoming season restart in Orlando, citing family health concerns, including his 6-year-old son's past respiratory complications.

While Smith and James' four seasons together in Cleveland ended in rocky fashion (i.e., the infamous shot clock mishap), the two developed a unique bond and helped bring the city its only championship in 2016.

During his tenure with the Cavs, Smith averaged 10.3 points and 38% from three-point range. He hasn't played a game since November 2018, at which point he was deactivated by the Cavs for the rest of the 2018-19 season, but a couple of recent training videos suggest that the 34-year-old has been staying in the gym.

During the 2017-18 campaign, his last full season, Smith was a relatively solid shooting guard, averaging 8.3 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.8 assists on 40.3% shooting from the field and 37.5% from downtown.

Prior to these latest rumblings about Smith linking with the No. 1 team in the Western Conference for their title run, he was spotted riding bikes in LA with James and Anthony Davis. My man was laying some early groundwork, no doubt.

As one of the most beloved personalities among basketball fans, social media was lit up with memes celebrating the return of "Swish."