The first move that the Los Angeles Lakers made in free agency was a great one. Just a day after he was released by the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Lakers signed Taurean Prince using the team’s Bi-Annual Exception.
Unfortunately, the Lake Show was unable to follow that up with another good signing as the team reportedly agreed to a three-year, $33 million contract with Gabe Vincent. Vincent is fresh off an NBA Finals run with the Miami Heat so he has become a household name for NBA fans.
While he undoubtedly had great moments for the Heat during the Finals, fans should not be fooled by a hot few weeks like the front office was. Vincent is not someone who a title-contending team should be paying over $10 million a year to.
It is easy to look at everything with the glass half full and that is naturally what fans are going to do. But when it is all said and done, this Vincent deal is going to feel eerily similar to another recent signing that flopped for LA.
Lakers’ Gabe Vincent signing will flop like Kendrick Nunn
Granted, Kendrick Nunn dealt with injuries and was a slightly different player than Vincent but there are similar reasons to be concerned. The most obvious is the fact that they both came from the Miami Heat, who notoriously get the most out of role players who end up struggling when they leave the team.
But the track record of Nunn being successful was small. Sure, he had good numbers in small stretches, but he was not the established product that the fans and team thought he would be. Once he did get healthy, the holes in his game became more apparent.
Vincent has serious holes in his game, regardless of what you may have saw in the NBA Playoffs. Vincent is an undersized guard who is a below-average defender and cannot hit threes consistently over a large sample size. He got hot in the playoffs, great. He is still a career 33.9% shooter from beyond the arc.
Plus, while Vincent’s numbers were fine in the playoffs, they likely are not as good as the eye test would lead you to believe. He had a phenomenal series against the Boston Celtics. Outside of that, he wasn’t anything special. He was a complete non-factor in the NBA Finals after Game 1 as he shot 25% from three in the final four games of the series.
Before the NBA Playoffs, many would have tabbed Vincent as a minimum contract guy, or at the very most a Bi-Annual Exception guy. A hot stretch of basketball (that almost didn’t happen if the Chicago Bulls don’t blow the play-in game) raised his value to that $11 million per season.
Who knows, maybe Vincent continues this hot play and justifies the price that the Lakers signed him for. But the overwhelming history indicates that it won’t happen and that his $11 million salary will become a sore spot on the books.