Based on statistics compiled before the NBA went on hiatus in March, the Los Angeles Lakers are in the bottom half of the league’s rankings in terms of outside shooting. With that in mind, a recent report suggested that the team, which leads the Western Conference heading into the upcoming season restart, could address this weakness in the 2020 free agency period by signing erstwhile Brooklyn Nets sharpshooter Joe Harris.
As explained on Wednesday by Bleacher Report’s Greg Swartz, the Lakers are currently ranked 17th out of 30 teams with a 35.5 percent clip from beyond the arc, with their 11.2 three-point shots made placing them just 22nd in that category. The team also has just one key rotation player — reserve guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope — shooting better than 38 percent from long range. All this, per Swartz, points to a team that needs an accurate and prolific three-point shooter such as Harris, who is in the last year of his contract with the Nets and widely expected to be headed elsewhere due to Brooklyn’s star-studded lineup.
“The Brooklyn Nets are quickly laying claim to one of the most expensive rosters in the NBA. They already have over $141 million in committed salary next season without factoring in a new contract for Harris. As such, they may be forced to let him walk.”
A 6-foot-6-inch former second-round pick out of the University of Virginia, Harris briefly teamed with Lakers forward LeBron James when they were both playing for the Cleveland Cavaliers. As shown on his Basketball-Reference player page, the 28-year-old has posted averages of 13.9 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 2.1 assists per game while shooting 47.1 percent from the field and 41.2 percent from three-point range as the Nets’ starting small forward this season.
If the Lakers decide to pursue Harris in free agency and sign him to the team, he could be a “great fit” on the team’s starting lineup, according to Swartz. He added that Harris is a player who can operate off the ball and provide some much-needed spacing for Los Angeles’ two superstars — James and Anthony Davis.
Harris is just one of several players who have been linked to the Lakers in recent weeks as the team hopes to become even stronger in the 2020-21 campaign. As previously documented by The Inquisitr, Indiana Pacers guard Victor Oladipo and oft-injured free-agent big man DeMarcus Cousins — who was released by the Lakers earlier this year before even playing a game for the team — were mentioned as two players who could give Los Angeles a “Fantastic Four” alongside Davis and James.