Lakers Lose Out to Clippers on Longtime Heart Goal


Serge Ibaka, one-time Lakers target, is now a Clipper.


Serge Ibaka, one-time Lakers goal, is now a Clipper.

The Clippers strike again. A day after the Lakers’ Staples Heart rival noticed backup large man Montrezl Harrell depart Clipperdom for the purple-and-gold, the Clippers swiped an enormous man in whom the Lakers had been lengthy rumored to have an curiosity—Raptors heart Serge Ibaka.

Ibaka, like Harrell, signed a two-year deal starting on the league’s $9.Three million midlevel exception, value $19 million complete.

It was a gentle shock that the Lakers pursued Harrell the way in which they did. Whereas he’s a terrific finisher within the pick-and-roll and averaged 18.6 factors per sport off the bench for the Clippers—he was Sixth Man of the Yr final season—that doesn’t make him a lot of a match with the Lakers.

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Based on, the Clippers ran pick-and-rolls on 22.6% of their possessions final 12 months, which was fourth within the NBA. Harrell averaged 3.eight factors per sport within the pick-and-roll, which was 11th within the league. The Lakers ran PNR on 14.7% of their possessions, which was 25th within the NBA. With LeBron James working as a non-traditional level guard, the Lakers simply should not large on pick-and-rolls, however maybe coach Frank Vogel envisions utilizing Harrell within the play extra usually with new backup level guard Dennis Schroder.

Montrezl Harrell’s Deficiencies Make Him an Odd Match for the Lakers

Whereas Harrell generally is a very environment friendly scorer within the paint, he has limitations. For one factor, he can’t stretch the ground, which is what it was presumed the Lakers wished in an enormous man—ground spacing to create room for James and ahead Anthony Davis. In 5 NBA seasons, Harrell has taken simply 50 3-pointers and made solely 5. Based on, Harrell has tried 91% of his pictures in his profession from inside 10 ft.

Maybe the Lakers don’t intend to play Harrell alongside Davis and James a lot, which might enable him to work the paint at will. However their midlevel exception was their greatest chunk of cash to make use of in free company, and it’s onerous to think about them spending all of it on a man they received’t use with their two greatest gamers.

Harrell additionally has some defensive deficiencies, which is just pure for a man who’s 6-foot-7 and performs heart. Perhaps the Lakers have one other transfer in retailer that can enable Harrell to play extra energy ahead and pair him with a extra conventional heart. However they haven’t executed so but and as issues stand, Harrell is an odd match with the remainder of this roster.

Serge Ibaka Defends and Shoots the 3-Pointer

The potential good match was why the Lakers had curiosity in Ibaka—he’s a greater defender than Harrell, can play pick-and-roll if wanted, and might step out to shoot 3-pointers. Ibaka averaged 15.Four factors and eight.1 rebounds for Toronto final season, taking part in 55 video games (27 as a starter). He made 38.5% of his 3-point makes an attempt final season, making an attempt 3.Three per sport.

Ibaka is 31 and Harrell is 26, and there’s actually some concern in regards to the potential for Ibaka to interrupt down bodily as he ages. Nonetheless, it’s odd that the Lakers pushed all their chips in on Harrell after they had lengthy been eyeing Ibaka. Actually, Ibaka’s connection to Clippers star Kawhi Leonard, his teammate in Toronto, performed a job in him going to the Clippers.

Earlier this month, one common supervisor instructed, “From a personnel standpoint, (Ibaka) is precisely the sort of combo large man that staff (the Lakers) wants. They’ve had curiosity in him earlier than and they’ll once more. When he’s wholesome he is a great spot starter on the 5 (heart) and the 4 (energy ahead). He’s pretty much as good a bench large man as there’s within the league. He was a very credible 3-point menace final 12 months. If he’s keen to just accept what the Lakers can afford to offer him, I do know they might need him.”

It was an enormous transfer for the Clippers, who had already misplaced Harrell and JaMychal Inexperienced in free company.

The Lakers might have afforded Ibaka—they merely might have given him the midlevel deal that went to Harrell. As a substitute, they took a raffle on Harrell’s inside scoring, passing on Ibaka’s higher match.

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