For about a week back in July 2006, shooting guard JR Smith was rostered with the Chicago Bulls. He’s now with the Lakers.
Potentially the most notable free agent signing to occur before the restart of the NBA’s season at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, FL, starting next month occurred with the Los Angeles Lakers signing veteran free agent shooting guard JR Smith. As a true career journeyman that was even on the Chicago Bulls roster for just a few days back during the 2006 offseason, Smith is about to get his next real shot to get a title.
As a side note, for a second just imagine what a Bulls team featuring players like former star big man Ben Wallace, center/power forward Tyrus Thomas, and Smith would’ve looked like.
The report that Smith would be signing out of free agency with a former teammate of his with the Cleveland Cavaliers, superstar forward LeBron James, and the Lakers came courtesy of ESPN NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski on the morning of June 29. Woj cites the reason why the Lakers were looking into signing Smith is to fill the void left by veteran guard Avery Bradley sitting out the restart of the NBA’s season, with games starting at Disney World on July 30.
Smith was one of the more notable veteran free agent guards remaining without a place to play in the last couple of weeks. In the free agent frenzy that ensued in the last two weeks around the NBA, Smith looked like he might finally find a place to call home for the rest of the season.
LeBron and Smith were teammates when the latter of the two won his first NBA Championship with the Cavaliers during the 2015-16 season. Smith played in five seasons with the Cavaliers, to go along with five with the Denver Nuggets, three with the New York Knicks, and two with the New Orleans Hornets (now the Pelicans).
Back during the 2012-13 season with the Knicks, Smith earned Sixth Man of the Year honors when he averaged 18.1 points per game, 5.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists, and 1.3 steals. His Sixth Man of the Year award and his one ring are his biggest accolades to date.
The Lakers finished out the season prior to the novel coronavirus pandemic-induced NBA hiatus with a record of 49-14, good for first place in the Western Conference standings. Meanwhile, the Bulls finished up with a record of 22-43, which will not get them into the 22-team field for the resumption of the 2019-20 campaign next month.