After Avery Bradley made it known he would not be joining his team in Orlando, the Lakers promptly went to work finding his replacement. It didn’t take long either as, just hours after the Bradley news came out, it was revealed that L.A. was in talks to bring in J.R. Smith — a veteran shooter and former teammate of LeBron James.
Despite concern about Smith’s age and history of screwups, Kendrick Perkins insisted on ESPN’s “The Jump” that bringing him in was a great move for the Lakers.
“I think the Lakers have struck gold. You’re adding another champion to the team that has the most Championship experience. One thing about J.R. that he has: he has a unique talent and guess what that is? Shooting the basketball. He can shoot the ball at 55-70 years-old. The thing I love about J.R. is that he’s been working his tail off. I’ve been communicating with him through this past year and a half and he’s been working his tail off, in and out the gym every day.”
J.R. is a shooter and he’s pretty darn good at it. During his five seasons with the Cavs, he averaged 2.3 makes per game from beyond the arc, shooting 38%.
Unfortunately, he has always been somewhat of a streaky shooter and he is often knocked for his low basketball IQ.
Needless to say, it’s a two-sided coin with J.R. While his shooting can provide his team with a boost on the offensive end, his mistakes everywhere else can often hurt the team in big situations. We’ll see which side of Smith comes out most in July.