NBA free agency is in full swing, and the rebuilding Los Angeles Lakers are talking to a number of players who could come in as veteran mentors to the likes of Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram and the rest of the young core.
Plus, Nick Young, who revived his career under Luke Walton last season, may be set to cash in elsewhere this summer.
One Last Run for Rondo?
While Rondo’s Box Plus/Minus has been on a general decline over the last four or five years, per Basketball Reference, there were still some positive signs for him in Chicago last season.
L.A., perhaps, saw a few of those. Or, at least, it saw enough to give him a call, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski:
First, he was a dominant force in two wins over the top-seeded Boston Celtics before an injury ended his playoff run. It was a small sample size, but Rondo’s 8.1 Box Plus/Minus, 22.9 player efficiency rating and 50.4 assist percentage from that series all jump off the page at Basketball Reference.
If nothing else, it was evidence that Rondo can still produce when properly motivated.
And that’s certainly something to consider for a team with players on their rookie contracts up and down the roster. It’d be especially interesting to see him backing up Ball, a fellow pass-first point guard who could learn a thing or two from someone who was once one of the game’s best distributors.
Does McLemore Fit the Vision?
As a former No. 7 pick, McLemore must still have a little cachet around the league. It’s difficult to see what else might cause L.A. to be interested in him considering his first four years in Sacramento.
Since he was drafted in 2013, 218 players have logged at least 5,000 minutes. Among that group, McLemore‘s Box Plus/Minus of minus-2.6 ranks 210th, per Basketball Reference. His true shooting percentage ranks 156th, not great for someone who came in billed as a shooter.
Still, McLemore has good size for a shooting guard, and at 24 years old, it’s too early to completely give up on his ability to improve. If the Lakers could get him for cheap, he might be worth a flyer.
According to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne, they’ve already given him a call:
Could Walton’s coaching and Ball’s selflessness help McLemore get his career on track? Both already have a track record of helping guys improve. With Walton, there’s the previously mentioned resurgence of Young. With Ball, look no further than the turnaround the entire UCLA program had last season.
The End of the Swaggy P Era?
At 32, Young posted career highs in both Box Plus/Minus and true shooting percentage for the Lakers last season, per Basketball Reference. Now, he may turn that career year into a deal for another team.
According to TNT’s David Aldridge, the New Orleans Pelicans are interested:
A lot of Young’s breakout numbers could be attributed to his proficiency from three-point range. He shot 40.4 percent on seven attempts a game from deep. If that stroke translates to the Big Easy, wing defenders would be drawn out of the paint, giving Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins more room to operate.
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