Ben McLemore is thrilled to be the newest member of the Los Angeles Lakers. After the move was officially announced, McLemore took to Instagram to post a series of messages on finding a new home just days after being released by the Rockets.
“Laker nation!!! Can’t tell you how DAMN excited to join y’all and help wherever I can. #nuffsaid,” McLemore noted on an Instagram Story post.
The newest Lakers guard also reposted a message that said, “mission I accomplished mission II: [trophy and ring emojis].” McLemore posted a photo of himself photoshopped in his new Lakers jersey with a brief caption of purple and yellow hearts.
The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported McLemore signed with the Lakers for the remainder of the season. McLemore turned down offers from several other teams including the Bucks.
“McLemore gives the Lakers additional three-point shooting and wing depth with opportunity to compete for a title,” Charania tweeted. “The sharpshooter had a host of interested contenders, including the Milwaukee Bucks.”
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Vogel on McLemore: ‘He’s Such an Elite Shooter’
The Lakers were quiet at the trade deadline, instead choosing to sign Andre Drummond in the buyout market. McLemore was released by the Rockets, so the Lakers had to wait for the guard to go unclaimed through waivers before the team could add him.
The two players are likely the Lakers’ final additions heading into their postseason run unless there is a last-minute change. Lakers head coach Frank Vogel cited McLemore’s shooting as a big reason why the team wanted to bring him to Los Angeles. The Lakers have struggled this season shooting the ball from long range ranking 23rd in the NBA in three-point percentage at 35.4%.
“He’s a guy that we had to know where he was at all times in that Houston series [during the 2020 playoffs] because he’s such an elite shooter,” Vogel said after the Lakers’ win over the Raptors. “Like I said, we’re trying to win a championship here. So, as much firepower as we can get, as many weapons as we can get we’re going to try to get. Ben instantly elevates our ability to knock down threes on the backside when double teams come and to play the drive and kick game that the modern NBA is made on. So, we’re thrilled about his addition and looking forward to getting him into some minutes and into our program.”
McLemore Could Play vs. Heat on April 8
Vogel indicated McLemore will join the team immediately in Miami and could play as soon as Thursday, April 8 against the Heat. McLemore was the No. 7 pick of the 2013 NBA draft.
The guard fell out of favor in the Rockets’ rotation this season averaging 7.4 points and 2.1 rebounds while shooting 33% from behind the arc in just 16.8 minutes per contest. McLemore has been a much better shooter throughout his career topping 40% from long range the previous two seasons.
Not only does McLemore bring shooting to Los Angeles, but he also has experience playing big-time playoff minutes. It does not hurt that McLemore is represented by Klutch Sports’ Rich Paul, the same agent as LeBron James. McLemore marks the sixth Lakers player who is part of Klutch.