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Lakers News: JR Smith Believes He, Jamal Crawford, Joe Johnson, Nick Young & Isaiah Thomas Have

With the NBA bringing in a group of talented, young players every year it can be hard for veterans to secure a roster spot.

For example, Carmelo Anthony had a solid year off the bench for the Los Angeles Lakers, yet he is just now being considered by the Boston Celtics as a possible replacement for Danilo Gallinari. Experience matters to a certain extent, but teams have clearly turned their focus on taking shots on younger players with more upside.

There are certainly veteran players in free agency who can come in and immediately help a team in limited roles. One name that could be a call-up at some point is JR Smith, who was recently a part of the Lakers 2020 championship team. Smith is still at the age where he could be a depth piece, but he believes he and a host of other older players have been blackballed by the league, via :

J.R. Smith says he, Jamal Crawford, Isaiah Thomas, Nick Young and Joe Johnson have been blackballed from the NBA. Link below for full #ComplexVolume story and interview with J.R. Smith.
🔗 — Complex Sports (@ComplexSports) September 2, 2022

It’s easy to see where Smith is coming from considering how many years he played in the NBA and his role on several winning teams. The players he named have all had a level of success at the professional level, but his claim that the NBA is purposefully holding them out seems far-fetched.

In today’s game, players must be able to be effective on both ends of the floor and Smith and the peers he brought up were all known for their ability to score. Shooting is a premium nowadays, but the best teams will play those kinds of players off the floor in high-leverage games.

Should a roster suffer several injuries over the course of the season, it’s conceivable that players like Smith could get an opportunity to show they can still contribute but it feels like a longshot at best.

Nick Young chooses D’Angelo Russell as NBA player he’d want to box

Young was a fan favorite in Los Angeles, displaying his fun personality both on and off the court. However, it wasn’t always sunny with him as he and former teammate D’Angelo Russell had a falling out after an incident involving Young’s former fiancee Iggy Azalea.

It came as no surprise then that Young said Russell would be his NBA player of choice to have a boxing match with.

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