Lakers’ Famed Dunker Poached by Contender: Report

darvin ham

Getty Los Angeles Lakers head coach Darvin Ham.

Promising guard Mac McClung’s tenure with the Los Angeles Lakers summer league team was brief as the former YouTube sensation has signed with the Golden State Warriors to play in the Las Vegas tournament. McClung was on the Lakers roster for the Salt Lake City summer league but is switching teams for Vegas, per NBC Sports Bay Area’s Dalton Johnson.

“Mac McClung will play for the Warriors summer league team in Las Vegas,” Johnson tweeted on July 6, 2022. “Summer league guys move around all the time, but this is an exciting wrinkle to watch. McClung scored 17 points vs. the Warriors on Saturday and was the G League’s Rookie of the Year last season.”

McClung initially signed with the Lakers as an undrafted free agent in 2021 and even made his way onto the active roster. The exciting guard played one game for the Bulls before later joining the Lakers at the end of the season. McClung posted six points, three rebounds, one assist and one block while shooting 40% from the floor during his lone appearance for Los Angeles last season.

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McClung Won the G League Rookie of the Year Award

McClung shined for Los Angeles’ G League team, the South Bay Lakers, averaging 21.6 points, 7.6 assists, 6.6 rebounds and 1.4 steals while shooting 37.7% from long range during his 27 appearances. The young guard’s play was so noteworthy that McCling earned the G League’s Rookie of the Year award.

McClung entered the league as an internet sensation with several YouTube mixtapes topping two million views. The guard began his career at Georgetown notching 14.2 points, 2.2 assists, 1.1 steals and 2.8 rebounds per game during his first two seasons with the Hoyas.

McClung played his final collegiate season at Texas Tech averaging 15.5 points, 2.7 rebounds and 2.1 assists while shooting 34.3% from long range in his 29 appearances. During his Lakers exit press conference, McClung explained how he has been able to handle being in the spotlight since high school.

“Yeah, I think social media can be a distraction for a lot of people and my life has kind of been following me, good and bad,” McClung said on April 11. “So, I really don’t take it personally. I just worry about being the best version of myself each day and trying to grow each day in the right direction. Yeah, I’m appreciative for people who support me and appreciate it for people who don’t support me. So, I just kind of stay the course and focus on myself.”

Could the Lakers Sign McClung After Summer League?

McClung’s future is worth monitoring as it does not appear the guard is committed to the Warriors beyond the Vegas summer league. The athletic guard could be a good long-term fit on the Lakers roster, especially given the team’s need for youth.

McClung showed enough in the G-League during his rookie season that a two-way deal makes a lot of sense for the Lakers. The challenge is if McClung plays well in Vegas, Golden State might be inclined to sign the guard to a deal.