Lakers Rumors: Why JR Smith Would Regret Signing With Los Angeles

Brian Mazique@@UniqueMaziqueCorrespondent IIIFebruary 15, 2012

CHARLOTTE, NC - DECEMBER 07:  J.R. Smith #5 of the Denver Nuggets celebrates after making a basket against the Charlotte Bobcats during their game at Time Warner Cable Arena on December 7, 2010 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

JR Smith may be enticed by playing in Los Angeles, donning the purple and gold, but it's a move he'll regret if the signing comes to pass. Michael Falgoust of USA Today published an article on the Lakers' attempts to find backcourt help. In it, he writes:

J.R. Smith, a free agent shooting guard who last played for the Nuggets and has been in China since the lockout, tweeted that he had a "great talk" with Brown on Tuesday. Brown confirmed the phone conversation

In theory, it would seem to work. Smith could come off the bench to provide instant offense—maybe even play the point in short stints. 

But in reality, it won't work.

Smith is too young and talented for the role the Lakers have available. Gilbert Arenas is a much better fit. Gilbert Arenas is a better option at point guard, and he's not in a position to gripe about minutes.

Smith has tons of options, he's only 26, he hasn't had any major injuries, he won't be happy with the 15-to-18 minutes a night the Lakers offer him. If Smith were to sign with the Lakers, it is doubtful he'd shave more than two minutes per game off of Kobe Bryant's 38 minutes per night.

That means he'll have to find a place in the rotation at point guard, as Bryant's backup for the 12 minutes he's off the floor or move the Mamba to the 3 when Smith comes in.

None of that is guaranteed, and will Smith be happy with sporadic minutes?

I don't think he will.

Smith has played an average of 24 minutes per game in his career, and there are other teams interested (Bulls, Clippers, Knicks) where he could get those minutes.

At least two of those teams are arguably better than the Lakers.

The Lakers' primary need is at the point guard spot. Though Smith is an underrated ball-handler, he isn't a point guard; add that to the thought that Smith will probably want more minutes than the Lakers have to offer and you have a potentially regrettable signing.

If Smith wants to actually play and land in a role that best suits him, he'll let Gilbert Arenas fill the Lakers' backcourt need and take his talents elsewhere.


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