LeBron James’ former teammate J.R. Smith makes it clear he’s available following Lakers’ miserable start to season

Peter Dewey
3 Min Read

The Los Angeles Lakers are 0-2 in the 2022-23 season following the team’s loss in a close game against the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday night.

The Lakers have played two tough games to open the season against the Golden State Warriors and Clippers, and there has been a glaring issue on the roster through the first two games.

As Lakers star LeBron James mentioned after the team’s first game, Los Angeles severely lacks outside shooting.

In Thursday’s game against the Clippers, the Lakers shot just 9-for-45 from beyond the arc. The team has combined to shoot 19-for-85 from 3-point range across its first two games.

To make matters worse, Lakers guard Patrick Beverley and Russell Westbrook were a combined 1-for-18 from the field and 1-for-12 from beyond the arc in the loss to the Clippers on Thursday.

It’s going to be hard for the Lakers to win any games with two starters playing so poorly, and one of James’ former teammates offered his services on Twitter to help the struggling Lakers backcourt.

J.R. Smith, who won titles with James in Cleveland and Los Angeles, indicated that he is available when a fan asked him to come back to the Lakers.

Smith hasn’t played in the NBA since the 2019-20 season, but it’s hard to believe he could shoot much worse than the Lakers have so far this season.

A first-round pick in the 2004 NBA Draft, Smith averaged 12.4 points, 3.1 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game while shooting 41.9 percent from the field and 37.3 percent from 3 during his NBA career.

Other than Lonnie Walker IV scoring 26 points on Thursday night, the Lakers haven’t seen much production from their role players around James and Anthony Davis this season.

It’s going to be hard for this team to compete for a playoff spot if the poor shooting continues, but Lakers fans have to hope this is just an early-season slump for the team.

Lakers head coach Darvin Ham has his work cut out for him as he tries to figure out a rotation that will allow Los Angeles to have shooting on the floor at all times this season.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.