Report: Lakers adding J.R. Smith to roster for Orlando restart

J.R. Smith. (Scott R. Galvin/AP)

The Los Angeles Lakers are reportedly finalizing a deal that will see free-agent guard J.R. Smith join the team when the season resumes in Orlando this summer.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, “Smith and the Lakers are working through final steps of a deal.”

The signing will reunite Smith with LeBron James, who he spent four seasons with on the Cleveland Cavaliers. The 34-year-old Smith hasn’t played since November of 2018 when the Cavaliers released him after trying to trade him.

Since breaking into the league in 2004-05, Smith has appeared in 971 regular season games, averaged 12.5 points per game and shot 37 per cent from three.

Smith will replace Avery Bradley on the Lakers’ roster after Bradley opted not to return to play in Orlando, citing family reasons. Teams have until Tuesday at midnight to finalize their rosters.

The NBA season will resume with 22 teams at Walt Disney World in Orlando with each team playing eight more regular season games to determine seeding for the playoffs. The Lakers will face the Los Angeles Clippers in their first game on July 30.

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