CALIFORNIA - Due to the absence of Avery Bradley on the roster of Los Angeles Lakers for the season restart in Orlando, coming from his two-year hiatus in the NBA, free-agent guard JR rose as the leading candidate to fill the guard slot according to sources of ESPN.
Based on sources, the agent of Smith, Rich Paul of Klutvh Sports, and the President of the Lakers basketball operations, Rob Pelinka were already in the talks about the possible agreement on Tuesday night and they are expecting to finalize things again on Wednesday.
According to ESPN, NBA's Western Conference top-seeded team, Los Angeles Lakers are looking for a replacement for Avery Bradley, the Lakers starting point guard, who shared on Tuesday night that he opted out of the restart of the season due to family considerations.
The Lakers have an option to waive Avery Bradley to have an extra slot on their roster for JR Smith.
The 34-year-old Smith last played in the NBA November of 2018 wearing Cleveland Cavaliers uniform.
Before the Lakers signed the other free agent guard Dion Waiters resulting in a deal, Smith worked out for them as well.
Due to the addition of Smith with the Lakers roster, the burden of Alex Caruso and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope in the backcourt will lighten with Waiters expected to provide quality performance in the guard position as well, Bleacher Report reported.
Rajan Rondo, who is an NBA veteran is expected to deliver control in the backcourt as well coming from the bench.
Since being drafted by New Orleans in 2004 which carries Hornets at that time, Smith who came out from St. Benedict's Prep played 15 NBA seasons already under the jerseys of Denver Nuggets, New York Knicks and Cleveland Cavaliers.
The veteran free-agent guard won his first NBA title together with LeBron James in 2016 wherein they came back from being down 3-1 in the NBA finals which are considered as the greatest comeback in the NBA history.
Aside from the ring with Cleveland, he is also the Sixth Man of the year in 2013 under the New York Knicks franchise.
With the NBA transaction window still remained open until July 1, teams are allowed to sign free agents prior to the travel going to the resort in Orlando where they will resume the NBA regular season.
Denver Nuggets struggle as Jokic tests positive for COVID-19.
While the Lakers are looking to deepen their roster, the Denver Nuggets currently has a problem after their All-Star center Nikola Jokic tested positive with COVID-19 in his homeland, Serbia, according to reports from the NBA.
The Joker tested positive last week and steadily been asymptomatic since the results came out but his return to the US to rejoin his team is delayed according to sources.
Moreover, he is expected to be cleared within a week based on information gathered by sources.
But based on the NBA's protocols, she Serbian center will need two negative tests within 24 hours in Serbia before he can be cleared to travel back in the US, and upon arrival in Denver, he will be undergoing a cardiac screening and another test that will have a negative result in order to play in the restart of the season.