The Los Angeles Lakers had a number of players to make a decision on as far as potentially bringing them back for another season. Ben McLemore didn’t spend a long time with the Lakers, joining the team in the middle of the season, but his talent was apparent.
Few players can get as hot as McLemore can in a short amount of time, as one made shot could turn into three in seconds. With the Lakers in need of shooting, it wouldn’t have been a major surprise if he were to return, but the Lakers have had their eyes on more veteran talent, and thus McLemore has looked elsewhere.
According to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype, McLemore has agreed to a deal to join the Portland Trail Blazers:
Free agent guard Ben McLemore has agreed to a deal with the Portland Trail Blazers, @KlutchSports CEO Rich Paul told @hoopshype.
— Michael Scotto (@MikeAScotto) August 3, 2021
McLemore doesn’t offer much on the defensive side, but he is a streaky shooter who can get absolutely scorching on any given night. He appeared in only 21 games for the Lakers last season but averaged 8.0 points while knocking down 36.8% from three-point range.
The addition of McLemore could also help the Blazers offset what looks to be the inevitable loss of Carmelo Anthony from their bench unit, who is reportedly weighing his options between the Lakers and New York Knicks. Though the two play different positions, McLemore could help replace the scoring punch off the bench that Anthony provided.
With the additions of Wayne Ellington, Trevor Ariza, and Kent Bazemore, it became obvious that McLemore’s time with the Lakers was coming to an end. Perhaps he will get a bigger opportunity to contribute than he would have in Los Angeles, as the Lakers have their eyes on others who can help them get back to another NBA Championship.
Lakers agree to one-year deal with Kent Bazemore
Of all the signings the Lakers made on the first day of free agency, the most surprising was likely that of Kent Bazemore. The wing reportedly turned down more money to stay with the Golden State Warriors to re-join the Lakers, who he believes is more of a contender. Bazemore previously played in 23 games with the Lakers in 2014.
Last season with the Warriors, Bazemore was a major contributor, appearing in 67 games and averaging 7.2 points while shooting a career-high 40.2% from three-point range.
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