J.R. Smith and the Cleveland Cavaliers continue their standoff with just a couple of weeks away before the start of the regular season. The latest NBA rumors suggest that the Los Angeles Lakers are ready to swoop in and sign Smith to a deal.
A website called NBA-Trade-Rumors.com claims that the Lakers are interested in the mercurial shooting guard as they plan to waive Nick Young. However, it should be noted that these are just purely speculative and nothing has been confirmed.
The Lakers do not have the money to sign J.R. Smith since they are already over the salary cap after signing veteran players Timofey Mozgov and Luol Deng to huge contracts. Smith is reportedly looking for an annual salary of $15 million.
Also, the Lakers are already set with Jordan Clarkson, Lou Williams and Nick Young in the shooting guard position. Even though Young has been criticized for his lack of leadership, Smith also has a tendency to lose focus especially if he joins a losing team coming from a Cavs team that won the NBA title.
In a recent interview with the Los Angeles Daily News, Young praised new head coach Luke Walton for giving him the confidence he needs to enter the season. With Walton fully behind “Swaggy P,” the Lakers do not need a player like J.R. Smith.
“You have a coach that is telling you to shoot the ball and has confidence in you. All he wants you to do is play defense and do whatever you want on offense. That gives yourself a lot of confidence,” Young said.
The Cavs and Smith are still in an impasse but it is expected that they will resolve the matter before the start of the season. Besides the Lakers, the Cavaliers also have to ward off the Boston Celtics that have shown interest in their starting shooting guard, per ESPN.
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