What if I told you the Lakers had a player who was 6’7″ in height, had a 6’10 wingspan, was known for his ability to get to the rim and finish, and wasn’t a revolving door on defense? That’s exactly what they have in Chris Douglas-Roberts, a small forward who played in the D-League for 11 games last year. Now, before either you or I get excited, let’s remember he played in the D-League for a reason.
However, CDR wasn’t just any D-League player last year. In his 11 games, he averaged 22.5 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 4.5 assists. At that point, he was signed onto the Mavericks for just six games for a total of 63 minutes before getting cut. However, in those 11 games, specifically his six games (seven counting his one pre-season game), CDR was a machine.
In his lone pre-season game with the Texas Legends, CDR dropped a LeBron-like stat line of 49 points, 8 assists, 7 rebounds, and 3 steals in 52 minutes. In his next six games? Oh he just averaged 27 points, 4.8 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 steals on 51.4% field goal shooting. Take a look at CDR’s pre-season outburst before we continue:
That video helps show his strengths and weaknesses. CDR can get to the rim like few others, and he can finish there which is key. Many times in this video and others, he can draw contact and finish through it. His has great athleticism and he knows how to use it. And when he gets to the line, he’s nearly a guarantee, making 75 of 83 free throws, which also shows how great he is at getting to the line.
However, his outside shooting has improved. In his entire NBA career, he’s just 32-116 from three-point land, a 27.6% clip. In his 11 games in the D-League last year, he was 15-38 for 39.5%. Certainly, this isn’t a large sample size, but it does show his shot is improving.
His ball-handling and vision are also two great strengths of his. He can get to the rim, but as evidenced in that video, he can find an open teammate if he’s double teamed. However, one of the knocks on him is his 3.3 turnovers a game. While he won’t be handling the ball as much on the Lakers, he could definitely work on his carelessness.
CDR should be the best player on the court for the Lakers this year, and in some cases, the best player on either team. It would take a completely horrible performance for Douglas-Roberts not to get an invite to the Lakers summer camp. At the very least, CDR should make the team next season, and as I predicted on Twitter last night, I wouldn’t be surprised if he was starting on opening night given MWP is amnestied.