The Los Angeles Lakers made a couple small but significant signings in the past few days. Shooting guard Troy Daniels, who most recently played for the Phoenix Suns, was acquired on July 1 on a minimum contract. The 6-foot-4 28-year-old shooting guard is a career 40 percent 3-point shooter and a career 81 percent free throw shooter. He is just the type of shooting specialist the Lakers need and desperately lacked last season.
Before the 2018-19 season began, we all remember Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka confidently telling us that the team already had the necessary shooters. They also said that shooting would not be as much of an issue as we initially thought. Well, Josh Hart, Kyle Kuzma, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, LeBron James, Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball all shot under 35 percent from three last season. ALEX CARUSO led the team in 3-point percentage. He only played 25 games, but still, you get my point.
Continuing to add veterans
The Lakers also acquired another good, well-respected veteran that is also a great locker room guy in Jared Dudley. Dudley may not raise many eyebrows which include mine. He’s the type of player you really need to watch on the court. You can’t follow his box score numbers as much. His ability to hit timely shots and his strong presence in the locker room are very important. He is also a career 39 percent 3-point shooter. Dudley has displayed his ability to get hot on offense and stretch the floor. He also shows heart and constant effort on defense despite being outmatched at times. Also, like I mentioned earlier, he’s a great locker room guy and well-respected around the NBA.
Making quality decisions
Rob Pelinka, Jeanie Buss and Kurt Rambis have made two quality, smart, well-executed signings in the recent days. They directly addressed the team’s biggest deficiency from last season. They also maintained the cap flexibility to sign Kawhi Leonard if he chooses the Lakers in the upcoming days.
With the Lakers finishing 29th out of 30 teams in 3-point percentage last season (33.3% to be exact) it’s refreshing to see them take a different but correct approach to filling those holes. Not focusing on ball-handling, streaky veteran players who can’t knock down shots consistently and space the floor for the team is important. Daniels and Dudley may not be the first people you think of when thinking sharp shooters. No matter, with LBJ and Davis on the floor, the opportunity will be there. They just have to knock them down. During their careers, they’ve shown us they can. Credit to Pelinka, Buss and Rambis since they are taking steps in the right direction.
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