The Los Angeles Lakers have a roster spot to fill after Avery Bradley informed the team he would not be traveling to Orlando when the season restarts, so former LeBron James teammate and two-time NBA champion Mike Miller decided to shoot his shot — as he has many times in his career — for the spot.
Miller directed a tweet and his old buddy LeBron on Tuesday night, saying: “Open roster spot? @KingJames.”
— Mike Miller (@MikeMiller_13) June 24, 2020
Of course, the prospect of playing the unique NBA restart in Orlando next month would be fun for Miller, and who wouldn’t want to see some more shoeless 3-pointers. But Miller hasn’t played in the NBA since 2017 and recently left his post as an assistant coach at Memphis to spend more time with his family.
“The past two years have been amazing, and I have so many people to thank: Coach Hardaway for believing in me, all our players for their commitment, the University of Memphis and its incredible fans, my wonderful wife and kids, and the entire city of Memphis for everything you have done for me and my family. All of you made this opportunity possible for me, and I’m truly grateful,” Miller tweeted.
— Mike Miller (@MikeMiller_13) March 13, 2020
Miller is doing just fine after playing 20 NBA seasons and winning a pair of titles with the “Big Three” Miami Heat. On top of that, Miller made nearly $100 million in his career, so he’s likely doing just fine. That’s not to say the 40-year-old can’t still school some youngins, which was evident in this viral clip.
— Derek Malloy (@DerekCMalloy) June 6, 2020
Lakers Eyeing JR Smith as Replacement for Avery Bradley
A player the Lakers do have their sights set on is JR Smith, another former teammate of James. The Lakers brass were in touch with Smith’s agent Rich Paul of Klutch Sports on Tuesday night and are expected to touch base with him again on Wednesday, per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
Free agent guard JR Smith has emerged as a leading candidate to replace Avery Bradley on the Lakers roster, sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 24, 2020
James won a memorable NBA title with Smith while in Cleveland in 2016. He’d give the Lakers another much-needed 3-point shooter in their arsenal and some scoring in their second unit.
For his career, Smith is shooting 37.3 percent from 3-point range and averages 12.5 points per game. However, he only played in 11 games as a member of the Cavaliers during the 2018-19 season and hasn’t played in the NBA this season.
Lakers Still Awaiting Word From Dwight Howard
Bradley has made his decision known, but the Lakers are still awaiting a decision from big man Dwight Howard, who has expressed some uncertainty on his plans for the remainder of the season.
Howard has had a resurgent season back in Los Angeles for a second stint, providing a spark at the center position off the bench with 7.5 points, 7.4 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game. While nothing is official yet, he’s expected to bring that to Orlando, according to Tania Ganguli of The Los Angeles Times.
“There is a belief around the organization that Howard plans to play, while Bradley’s plans are less clear, according to people with knowledge of the situation,” Ganguili reported last week.
However, Howard has been dealing with some things off the court and Lakers veteran Danny Green casted some doubt on his return.
By Wednesday, we’ll know which players declined to join the season resumption in Orlando. With a number of concerns, including social injustice, @DwightHoward & Avery Bradley might sit out.
@DGreen_14 gives @HarrisonSanford his thoughts https://t.co/Sw79CzPVOi pic.twitter.com/MJSYtC9Tbm
— Inside The Green Room (@GreenRoomInside) June 23, 2020
“I talked to Dwight, and there are just some things that are bigger than basketball. You never know what’s going on with guys’ families. Just hearing in the background what Dwight’s going through, I understood fully,” Green said on his Inside the Green Room show. “There’s more than one thing going on in his life beyond the protest. … The loss of his baby mother, but there’s lots going on that people don’t know about.”