Heading into his 6th season, Shabazz looks ready to drop 25 and 10 on opposing teams every night while also likely landing on an All-Defensive T-… of course I’m kidding… It’s highly unlikely Shabazz will ever put up 25 and 10, especially if he is on the bench for a contending team. But fear not, that’s okay, because the Lakers don’t need him to.
This LA team’s depth is already ridiculous; their second unit is arguably better than an Eastern Conference 8th seed’s starting five. Knowing this, I suspect Pelinka will be looking for team-first, ready to win veterans to fill out the remainder of the roster.
Shabazz is precisely that: a veteran guard who’s capable of running an offense and willing to come off the bench for the sake of team success. He averaged 4.7 assists and 10.3 points per game on two teams during the 2019-2020 season. He did so while only play 24 minutes a night, too, per Basketball-Reference.com.
This makes him an ideal fit as the Lakers already have a handful of guards who would be ahead of him in the rotation. It is a long season, however, and moreover, it’s been the shortest offseason in American sports history, so there will be times throughout the season where guys (mainly LeBron James) will need to rest. This is where Shabazz can step up and contribute.
He already has experience in this role, stemming all the way back to his days at UConn, winning a title as a freshman while playing 23.8 minutes per game off the bench. He later won again as a senior in the starring role on the team, so he has proven, at least in college, that he’s not afraid of the spotlight.
It also doesn’t hurt that LeBron has spoken highly of him in the past, tweeting back in 2014 that Bazz was his favorite point guard in the draft.
With his experience in big games as well as his ability to run an offense off the bench in limited minutes, Shabazz would be a nice addition to an already fantastic Lakers Team.