JR Smith has the chance of a lifetime as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers and you won’t count his Lakers teammate, Dwight Howard raining on his parade.
“I’m happy for JR,” Howard said on Instagram Live Wednesday evening.
“I’m genuinely happy for him.”
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, Smith last played NBA basketball on November 19, 2018 as a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers in a game against the Detroit Pistons.
At that point, the Cavs were 2-13 and Smith logged just six minutes of play.
A member of the Cavaliers’ 2016 NBA Championship team alongside LeBron James, Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving, Smith only played 11 games during the 2018-19 NBA season.
The Cavs granted Smith a leave of absence after voicing concerns about the direction of that team.
Cleveland heartily searched for a trade partner during his leave of absence with no suitors interested.
A native of Lakewood, New Jersey, Smith is a career 37.3% 3-point shooter and has career averages of 12.5 points per game.
Currently the Lakers sit in first place in the NBA’s Western Conference standings with a 49-14 record.
The coronavirus pandemic halted NBA basketball play on March 11.The NBA will resume play on July 30 at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. The Lakers are one of 22 NBA Teams who will compete to fill the league’s 16-NBA Playoff spots in both the NBA’s Eastern and Western Conferences with the NBA Finals expected to finish no later than October 13.
Smith and the Lakers have been tied to one another since January 25 when it was made public that he would be granted a workout with the Lakers. The Lakers signed Dion Waiters back in the winter instead of Smith with Smith eventually signing last month after Avery Bradley opted to sit out for the NBA’s resume.
Smith like Howard have something to prove in the bubble in Orlando.
Now in his second stint with the Lakers, Howard is averaging 7.5 points, 7.4 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per contest for the purple and gold.
An 8-time NBA All Star, Howard, 34 was the Orlando Magic’s first pick in the 2004 NBA Draft.
An Atlanta, Georgia native, the 6’11 center missed most of the 2018-19 season due to injury, but signed signed with the Lakers via free agency last summer after a freak injury to DeMarcus Cousins made a roster spot available.