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Lakers add former Nuggets guard J.R. Smith for championship push

Smith was a key bench player for the 2008-2009 Nuggets, who made a run to the Western Conference Finals.
Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS
Denver Nuggets guard J.R. Smith reacts after making a three-point shot against the Los Angeles Lakers during the second half of Game 4 of the NBA basketball Western Conference finals Monday, May 25, 2009, in Denver. Smith scored 24 points in the Nuggets' 120-101 win. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

LOS ANGELES — J.R. Smith has joined LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers for their championship push. 

The Lakers announced their long-anticipated signing of Smith as a substitute player. Smith is the Lakers’ replacement for Avery Bradley, who cited family reasons for his decision not to finish the season with the Lakers in Orlando. 

The 34-year-old Smith hasn’t played in the league since November 2018, but the 2013 Sixth Man of the Year is a longtime trusted teammate of James. 

They won the NBA title together with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016 and reached four consecutive NBA Finals. 

Smith played five seasons with the Denver Nuggets from 2006-2011, averaging more than 15 points per game in two of those years. Smith was a key bench player for the 2008-2009 Nuggets, who made a run to the Western Conference Finals.

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