Lakers Rumors: JR Smith to Get 'Audition' with LA After 2020 Trade Deadline

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistFebruary 6, 2020

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 14: Cleveland Cavaliers guard JR Smith #5 handles the ball against the Washington Wizards on November 14, 2018 at Capital One Arena in Washington, DC. 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. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Stephen Gosling/NBAE via Getty Images)
Stephen Gosling/Getty Images

Though the Los Angeles Lakers didn't make any trades before Thursday's deadline, they could still upgrade their roster.

According to Marc Stein of the New York Times, the Lakers are "favorites" to sign Darren Collison and will give JR Smith an "audition."

Smith hasn't played at all this season and only appeared in 11 games in 2018-19 with the Cleveland Cavaliers before seeking a trade. He was waived in July but hasn't found a new home.

Brandon Robinson of Heavy.com reported last month the Lakers would give him a workout, although the organization wasn't necessarily planning on signing him.

"There are no guarantees," a source said. "They want to see what he can do and if it is a fit, we'll take it from there."

Smith notably has experience playing alongside LeBron James, playing parts of four seasons together with the Cavaliers. The squad went to four straight NBA finals during this stretch, winning the title in 2016.

The familiarity could lead to a smooth transition with the new team, even after more than a year off the court. The 34-year-old guard could also provide some valuable outside shooting to the roster after hitting 37.3 percent of shots in his career.

Adding in his experience with 130 career playoff games, he could bring a lot to a Lakers squad looking to compete for a title.

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Still, the team has to evaluate whether he's in good enough shape to help the team after missing the first few months of the season. 

Los Angeles also has a lot of guard options off the bench in Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Alex Caruso, Troy Daniels and Quinn Cook. Regardless of cost, Smith might not even represent an upgrade to the roster. 

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