Russell Westbrook is now a Los Angeles Laker and with him comes his shooting woes. The former MVP does a lot of things well but shooting is not one of them. He’s a career 30.1% shooter from three and only hits 43.7% from the field overall.
Considering LeBron James and Anthony Davis are good, not great shooters, the Lakers have a lot of work to do in free agency. The team needs to surround its three stars with strong shooters if they hope to make things work. As fortune would have it, there are a number of talented shooters set to hit the free-agent market. Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report named three players who could be solid fits in Los Angeles.
“The Lakers need to add shooting, which is why they were chasing Hield,” Pincus wrote. “That need only grew with the Westbrook deal. Look for the franchise to pursue shooters in free agency like JJ Redick, Wayne Ellington or former Lakers draft pick Svi Mykhailiuk.”
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Redick or Ellington Would Be Great Pickups
Shooting woes aren’t anything new for the Lakers. The team’s 35.4% from beyond the arc last season was 21st in the NBA. Wayne Ellington was one of the names commonly mentioned as a possible target for Los Angeles. He was with the team during the 2014-2015 season and the Lakers would be wise to give him another shot. He’s a career 38.2% shooter from three but is coming off a season in which he made 42.2% off his attempts. He’s also aggressive as he shot six threes a game last season.
If Ellington isn’t doable, JJ Redick would be a great pickup, as well. He’s made 41.5% off his threes during his career and has consistently been one of the NBA’s best 3-point shooters for over a decade. His family is on the East Coast so he could want to be close to them as he finishes up his career. However, the allure of winning a championship could be stronger than the allure of being close to family.
Veterans Want to Play With Lakers
While not everybody loves the Westbrook trade for the Lakers, there’s no doubt that the team is appealing to players around the league. Los Angeles could be a destination for veterans looking to win a championship. Even prior to the Westrbook trade, Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report was reporting that veterans are willing to go to the Lakers at a discount.
“The good news for the Lakers is that there is absolutely a large amount of talk from team executives around the league right now that if the Lakers are able to get a Kyle Lowry or make this home run of getting Russell Westbrook and trading Kyle Kuzma for Buddy Hield, let’s say … there’s a lot of speculation right now that seems founded that the Lakers have a ton of veteran-type players ready and interested to come sign on minimum deals and go chase this ring with LeBron,” Fischer said on the Lakers Central Podcast.
The Lakers’ roster doesn’t look great right now but that could be very different in just a few weeks.