J.R. Smith Says Lakers, Clippers Haven’t Called, Open To Teaming With Melo

jr smith lebron james

Getty J.R. Smith with LeBron James.

J.R. Smith is back in Los Angeles. The NBA free agent according to league sources was scheduled for a non-guaranteed workout for the Los Angeles Lakers last month.

I’m told Smith did get a workout with the Lakers.

So what’s next?

During a Q&A with his fans via Instagram stories, Smith was asked whether he’d play for the Los Angeles Lakers or Los Angeles Clippers if he had a choice.

“They both ain’t call yet,” Smith replied.

During the 2018-19 NBA season, Smith only played in 11 games as a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers. The team granted Smith a leave of absence after he voiced that he was unhappy. During his leave of absence, the Cavs searched for a trade partner.

Smith potentially joining the Los Angeles Lakers is intruiging for a myriad of reasons. A Lakewood, New Jersey born, Millstone, New Jersey raised guard, grew up watching Lakers assistant coach Jason Kidd when he led the then-New Jersey Nets to back to back NBA Finals appearances in 2002 and 2003.

Smith was also teammates with Kidd when they were both members of the New York Knicks last decade.They’d lose to the Frank Vogel coached Indiana Pacers in the 2013 NBA Eastern Conference Semifinals.

When asked via Instagram’s Q&A feature on Tuesday, who his favorite teammate was, J.R. Smith was honest:

“J Kidd,” he said.

Smith was also LeBron James’ teammate in Cleveland with the Cavaliers. Alongside Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love, the Cavs beat the Steph Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson-led Golden State Warriors in the 2016 NBA Finals.

“Unless you get LeBron’s seal of approval, I don’t know who he helps, you know,” Washington Post writer, Ben Golliver told me previously on the Scoop B Radio Podcast.

“And I think it’s unfortunate, I think it’s a situation where there have been red flags with him that have accumulated over the course of his career. I think that sometimes there’s a risk or verse approach from front offices where they just think like: ‘look, he might be able to help us, but he can really make me look bad if things don’t go well, so I don’t wanna risk it.’ You know? So I think it takes advocacy from one of his friends, whether if it’s a Kevin Love or a LeBron James to sort of get him into a spot.”

On Tuesday afternoon, Smith was also asked on hi Instagram story Q&A if he’d like to play for a contender. “You always want to win,” he said.

“That’s the goal! You also want to play at the highest level possible.”

Smith revealed what keeps him motivated: “Knowing I’m still better than 85% of the players on the court,” he said.

Smith was also asked who he’d pick to appear in the NBA Finals. He replied: “Lakers and Miami call me crazy.”

When asked what the hardest thing about being an NBA player was, Smith wasn’t shy. “The fact that what I do is held to a higher standard than the President in the country,” he said. “Blows my mind.

Smith was also asked if he’d given any thought to joining Carmelo Anthony and the Portland Trail Blazers. “Yesterday,” he replied.

Smith has not played basketball since November 19, 2018, against the Detroit Pistons.

The 18th pick in the 2004 NBA Draft by the New Orleans Hornets by way of St. Benedict’s Preparatory High School in Newark, New Jersey, J.R. Smith, has career averages of 12.5 points per game during playing stints with the Hornets, Denver Nuggets, New York Knicks and Cleveland Cavaliers.