Given the fact that the Los Angeles Lakers were reportedly in the market for a 3-and-D player, it was somewhat surprising to know that they had reached an agreement with recently-bought-out Ben McLemore.
McLemore has never been much of a defender and most people thought that they'd get Avery Bradley or Otto Porter Jr if they got bought out, as they both fit the job description for the roles the team was craving.
Ben, however, has a tailor-made skill set for what the Lakers are looking for right now, according to coach Frank Vogel; and he'll likely get an extended run ahead of the playoffs, especially with LeBron James on the sidelines.
Frank Vogel Explains Why The Lakers Signed Ben McLemore
“If we’re going to add a player, we’re going to add somebody that has a skill set that we need. We want to add as many weapons as we can, and then use the next however many games are left throughout the season to get all of our players sharp for the playoffs. So that would be the mindset: to have all our weapons in rhythm, comfortable in our system, ready to go, so that in any given playoff series if that player’s skill set is needed, they’re ready to go. And that will be planned," Vogel said, as quoted by ClutchPoints.
McLemore entered the league as the 7th overall pick but struggled to find consistency as a scorer and was never a plus-defender. Then again, he had turned into a lethal three-point threat for the struggling Houston Rockets, and that's why the Lakers turned their attention to him:
“Ben instantly elevates our ability to knock down 3s on the backside when double-teams come and we can 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," Vogel concluded.
Ben McLemore is a career 36.1% shooter from beyond the arc and the Lakers have been nothing short of terrible in that regard this season. Hopefully, he'll silence his critics and show his true value.