Lakers Signing JR Smith Would Be a Complete Disaster

JR Smith is not the player the Lakers need to take Avery Bradley's place.
JR Smith is not the player the Lakers need to take Avery Bradley's place. / Jason Miller/Getty Images

With the news of Avery Bradley sitting out the NBA's restart in Orlando, many have begun speculating who the right man will be to fill his void in Los Angeles.

JR Smith very quickly became the top candidate for the job. The 34-year-old free agent is yet to play in the 2020 season, and signing with the Lakers may prove to do more harm than good for a team pursuing a championship.

Smith has experience playing alongside LeBron James in Cleveland and even worked out for the Lakers before they signed Dion Waiters back in February. However, to imply that Smith's presence can rival Bradley's is a crime.

Bradley's numbers are not particularly impressive, but his value comes on defense, something with which JR Smith seemingly only opts to play when he's up to the challenge.

Bradley's ball pressure and perimeter D made everything possible for the team that is leading the league in blocks and is ranked third overall on defense. Bradley is 14th in the NBA in defensive real plus-minus. With his absence, the Lakers would be smart to pursue a defensive-minded player, not another wing scorer.

Smith has also not stepped foot on an NBA court in a year. In a time where training is more difficult than ever before, to be expected to contribute at the pace of playoff basketball is a tall task.

We can also take a look back at what happened when Smith was in the Finals with LeBron.

The combination of factors does not prove ripe for a JR Smith signing in Los Angeles. The Lakers are in a tremendous position, and to put all of that at risk for a player who cannot come close to replacing the talent they have lost is not a wise decision.