L.A. Lakers Sign Free Agent Guard Ben McLemore to a Rest-of-the-Season Deal

Lakers Background Ben Mclemore

  • The Los Angeles Lakers have signed veteran guard Ben McLemore for the remainder of the season.
  • McLemore is a career 36.3% three-point shooter who averaged 7.4 PPG with the Rockets this season.
  • Los Angeles is still second in the NBA championship odds boards behind the Brooklyn Nets.

The Los Angeles Lakers completed their roster by signing veteran guard Ben McLemore for the rest of the season. McLemore cleared the waivers on Monday after he was released by the Houston Rockets last week.

Said head coach Frank Vogel on the signing:

“We’re trying to win a championship up here and so as much firepower as we can get, as many weapons as we can get, we’re going to try to get. And 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.”

Wing Depth and Three-Point Shooting

The 28 year old McLemore is in his 8th NBA season after being selected by the Sacramento Kings with the 7th overall pick of the 2013 NBA Draft. He has spent the previous two seasons with the Houston Rockets, averaging 10.1 points per game while shooting 40% from deep as a part-time starter for Houston’s 2020 playoff team. He averaged 7.4 points er game this season before he was released last week.

McLemore is expected to boost the Lakers’ outside shooting, which should open up the lanes for James, Davis, and Drummond to operate when they return. McLemore is a career 36.3% three point shooter but has made 40.2% of his downtown attempts during the previous two seasons. The Lakers are no strangers to his shooting as McLemore scored 18 points on a combined 6-12 shooting in Games 3 and 4 of their second round series against the Rockets.

According to head coach Frank Vogel, McLemore will join the team on the next leg of their Eastern Conference road trip if he clears the league’s COVID-19 protocols. If he continues to test negative for COVID-19, Vogel expects McLemore to be ready when the Lakers face the Miami Heat on Thursday. The Lakers’ have a brutal schedule ahead with their next nine opponents having a winning percentage of at least .500.

Lakers Championship Odds

Despite their recent struggles, the best NBA betting sites are still high on the L.A. Lakers, believing that they can turn things around in the playoffs when LeBron, AD, and Drummond are able to play together. But then it may be foolish to look that far ahead as the defending champions continue to tumble in the team standings.

After Tuesday’s win over the Toronto Raptors, the Lakers are 32-19 on the season. Although they are 9.5 clear of the 11th seeded New Orleans Pelicans in the Western Conference team standings, the Lakers are just 4-6 in their last 10 games and have already yielded the 4th spot and home court advantage in the first round to the Denver Nuggets who have been streaking since acquiring Aaron Gordon at the trade deadline.

The Los Angeles offense has struggled without both Bron and AD as they have topped the 110 mark only twice in their last 10 games, scoring less than 100 points in half of those games. Adding McLemore will give the offense a little scoring boost. But if the Lakers want to repeat as champions, they need to get their stars healthy and available.

Sub Categories:
Shane Acedera / Author

Shane grew up watching the Magic & Bird rivalry but ended up rooting for Detroit's Bad Boys team in the 1990s NBA. He loves to tell sports stories and has been writing about sports since high school. When Shane isn't busy jotting down his thoughts, he's just chillin' at home with his wife Rocelle and their two dogs named Horry and Fisher. He recently added a new family member, adopting a handsome retired K-9 named Ranger.