The Lakers have remaining cap room. Speaking with Larry Coon at yesterday’s game, the Lakers have a good $7 million to $8 million left in cap space, but no real players of interest. The players they do have interest in are restricted free agents.
The Summer Pro League is an excellent venue for up-and-coming players to earn a roster spot. Elias Harris earned a spot on the Laker team last season. Outside of Julius Randle and Jordan Clarkson, no one else has really stood out. Rodrigue Beaubois looks good in short stints, but concerns about his injury-riddled past may sour the Lakers interest, especially after last year.
Justin Holiday has had a great past two games. After a slow start on 1 of 6 shooting after game one, he has lit up defenses the past two games with 9 of 15 and 9 of 18 shooting from the field. He’s shooting nearly 49% from the field, 43% behind the arc, and has the defensive credentials that’ll make coaches proud.
Holiday started as an undrafted player in 2011. After a couple of stints with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Philadelphia 76ers, he spent the last season playing for the Szolnoki Olaj of Hungary. He transformed his game from a spot-up shooter, to a multi-dimensional shooter on the floor. He attacks the basket. He utilizes screens more effectively. He’s able to make shots off the bounce. He’s not hiding in the corners waiting to be found and get open.
Last night against the Lakers, he was the #1 option. The Warriors went to him twice in clutch situations. Near the end of regulation, the Warriors set up a play to free him up from a screen. He had a good look from 20′, but just missed short. Near the end over the two-minute overtime, they gave him a double screen to free him up. His balance was better, and he hit the shot from 20′.
The loss of Jodie Meeks means the Lakers don’t have a three-and-D player. Michael Cooper fulfilled that role perfectly in the 1980’s. Trevor Ariza did an excellent job as a Laker in that role. Metta World Peace was a different dimension to that role.
Justin Holiday can fulfill that role well. Who doesn’t want a 6’6″ wing player with a 7′ wingspan that is improving his game on both ends of the floor?
The Lakers won against a tough Golden State Warriors team. Maybe they can win Justin Holiday over as well.