The Los Angeles Lakers took care of some necessary business on Thursday afternoon by signing a pair of unrestricted free agents in Brandon Bass and Lou Williams.
Los Angeles had agreed to terms with both Bass and Williams over the weekend, but had to wait until the league wide moratorium had passed on July 9.
Williams, who won last year’s Sixth Man of the Year award for the Toronto Raptors averaging a career-high 15.5 points, inked a three-year, $21 million deal with the Lakers.
“I am pleased to welcome Lou to the Laker family,” said Kupchak via a team press release. “We look forward to his contributions both on-court in bolstering our guard rotation, and also for the veteran leadership he can provide to our young players in the locker room.”
The addition of the 28-year-old will bring a much-needed scoring punch off the bench for the Lakers, which will help ease the load on the team’s young backcourt duo of Jordan Clarkson and rookie D’Angelo Russell. He will also help shoulder the offensive burden from Kobe Bryant, who is entering his 20th season in the league.
Williams spent the first seven years of his career with the Philadelphia 76ers. After two seasons with the Atlanta Hawks, he was dealt to the Raptors last summer. In his lone season with Toronto Raptors, he was an invaluable piece to their offensive firepower. He led the team in free throw percentage (86.1%), made a career-high 152 three-pointers, and led or tied for the team lead in scoring in 18 games.
Bass signed a multi-year deal with Los Angeles, but the terms of the deal are still a work in progress due to other pending deals for the team.
The 30-year-old has spent the last four seasons playing for the Boston Celtics averaging 10.6 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. He has missed just one game over the last three seasons, including all 82 regular season games over the last two years. Bass has played for the Celtics, Orlando Magic, Dallas Mavericks, and New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets.
The 10-year veteran brings a stability to the bench in the form of a viable big man that can be factor offensively in the low post and mid-range game. He is also solid defender and rebounder at his position, and is well-respected for his leadership.
“I am excited to add a player of Brandon’s skill level and character to our roster,” said Kupchak via a team press release. “His work ethic, toughness, and selfless play lend themselves well to our team.”
Los Angeles was also able to hammer out rookie Anthony Brown’s contract on Thursday as he agreed to a multi-year deal.
He was selected out of Stanford with the 34th overall pick in this year’s draft. He appeared in 37 games (36 starts) last season for Stanford averaging 14.8 points and team-high 6.9 rebounds while shooting 43.1 percent from the field and 44.1 percent from 3-point range.
Brown possesses the ideal size and length to play the wing position in the NBA at 6-foot-7 with a 6-foot-11.5 inch wing span. He has fluidity in his game, but isn’t an overly explosive athlete. However, he does show his speed in transition, and is capable of finishing with either hand. He excels most with his shooting as he most effective in catch and shoot situations, and can be a factor shooting off screens.
The Lakers have yet to sign their other two draft picks from this year’s draft in Russell, who was the second overall selection, and forward Larry Nance Jr., who was taken with the 27th overall pick.
Both should be signed fairly soon as Los Angeles typically doesn’t allow their drafted players to play in the summer league unless they are under contract. The team’s first Las Vegas summer league game is on Friday against the Minnesota Timberwolves at 5:30 p.m.
Bob Garcia IV
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