Former Los Angeles Lakers star and team executive Magic Johnson has weighed in on the team’s big roster addition this week.
The Lakers have signed veteran NBA shooting guard J.R. Smith. The longtime NBA sharpshooter has once again teamed up with LeBron James, whom he played with in Cleveland.
Smith, 34, will serve as a replacement player for Avery Bradley, who has decided to opt out of play in Orlando, Florida.
“The Los Angeles Lakers have signed guard JR Smith as a Substitute Player for the NBA season restart, it was announced today by Vice President of Basketball Operations and General Manager Rob Pelinka. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not released,” the Lakers announced.
Johnson is a fan of the move.
“Congratulations and welcome J.R. Smith to the Lakers!” he tweeted on Wednesday evening.
Congratulations and welcome J.R. Smith to the @Lakers!
— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) July 2, 2020
Lakers head coach Frank Vogel told reporters on Wednesday that Smith’s experience with LeBron is a major positive.
“That was a factor: his familiarity with LeBron and the way we built our team, obviously around LeBron,” Vogel said on Wednesday. “There’s a lot of similarities to the things they did in Cleveland. That definitely is a factor in what we feel J.R. can bring to the table in what is going to be a very short time to get acclimated.”
Smith has not played in an NBA game since the 2018-19 season, when he played in 11 contests for the Cavaliers.
The shooting guard averaged 12.4 points and shot 40 percent from the 3-point line during the Cavs’ championship season in 2016.