J.R. Smith coming in for a workout with the Los Angeles Lakers was first reported by Brandon ‘B Scoop’ Robinson back in January and it looks like it wasn’t officially scheduled until now. According to Shams Charania, Smith will be working out with the Lakers very soon.
With the news that the team waived Troy Daniels, they now have an open spot on the roster. Los Angeles will probably make a move to fill the spot soon. Smith isn’t a lock considering some of the other options available, but it certainly improves his chances.
Frank Vogel Says a Move Isn’t ‘Imminent’
While waiving Daniels makes another roster move seem likely, Lakers head coach Frank Vogel threw some cold water on that idea.
“We do not have another move imminent,” Vogel said on Sunday. “We wanted to maintain the flexibility to add a player if we need one, if we have a particular injury to a position. And if we were going to do something and cross that road at some point, and we had to use Troy’s roster spot, Troy would be left out in the cold. We wanted to do the right thing by the player and also give ourselves some flexibility if we wanted to make a move in the future.”
Vogel is keeping his cards close to the vest, but it seems very possible that a roster move is coming soon. Smith is definitely a name to keep an eye because of his ties to LeBron James. If his workout with the team goes well, there’s a good shot he joins the team soon.
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Dion Waiters Is Still an Option
If the Lakers aren’t sold that Smith still has a lot left in the tank, there’s still Dion Waiters, who is currently a free agent. Los Angeles has a meeting with the veteran guard soon and they’ve already reportedly worked him out. Waiters is much younger than Smith and has more recently played in an NBA game.
However, there may be a deciding factor. Both Waiters and Smith have previously been teammates with LeBron James. By most accounts, Smith has a solid relationship with the star while Waiters does not. It’s obviously not his call who the team signs, but he’s definitely going to get some say. According to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, Waiters has to do some work to prove to the Lakers that they should sign him.
“They’re mulling it over and it’s because they need some sort of perimeter player who can score a little bit. Dion doesn’t just have to convince the Lakers,” Windhorst said ESPN’s Brian Windhorst. “He has to convince LeBron.”
If LeBron completely vetoes the idea of adding Waiters, then the Lakers probably won’t sign him. He’s had his fair share of off the court issues and that’s certainly a red flag. Despite the obvious concern, Los Angeles is at least going to give him a chance.