Lakers Sign Ben McLemore To Rest-Of-Season Deal

7:00pm: The Lakers have issued a press release officially announcing the addition of McLemore.

2:14pm: Free agent guard Ben McLemore has reached an agreement to sign with the Lakers, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). It’ll be a rest-of-season contract, Charania adds (via Twitter).

McLemore, 28, had been playing for the Rockets until he was released on Saturday. The former seventh overall pick cleared waivers on Monday, making him eligible to sign with any team, and Charania suggests (via Twitter) that he drew interest from a few other contenders, including the Bucks.

The Lakers make sense as McLemore’s destination, given that he’s a Klutch Sports client, like LeBron James and Anthony Davis, among others. The team was also said to be seeking a three-and-D wing after signing Andre Drummond.

McLemore had a strong season in Houston a year ago, averaging 10.1 PPG on .444/.400/.746 shooting in 71 games (22.8 MPG) for a Rockets team that made the postseason and won its first-round playoff series.

This year, playing for a squad that has undergone major roster upheaval and has been hit hard by injuries and COVID-19 protocols, McLemore’s numbers dipped across the board — he recorded 7.4 PPG on .357/.331/.719 shooting in 32 contests (16.8 MPG).

Since the Lakers have an open spot on their 15-man roster, no corresponding move will be required to make room for McLemore. The team also has enough space below its hard cap to finalize the deal immediately. If McLemore were to officially sign today, he’d earn just under $611K for the rest of the season, with L.A. taking on a $455K cap hit.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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33 thoughts on “Lakers Sign Ben McLemore To Rest-Of-Season Deal

  1. WallyWood

    Good for him, but he needs to shoot a lot better if he’s going to help the Lakers any.

  2. mrshyguy99

    Good shooter but we thought wes was that and look what happen. So I hope he can help till lebron and ad are back

  3. hiflew

    This has just gotten ridiculous. I know people will say that McLemore doesn’t move the needle that much or something, but he really does. The Lakers are signing him to be their 13th or 14th man, whereas a team near the bottom of the playoff seeds could use him as an 8th or 9th man. I know it’s not signing superstars, but if you can get a 13th man that is better than your competition’s 8th man for free, there is something wrong. This garbage has just about turned me off the NBA altogether.

    • WallyWood

      He had already fallen out of the Rockets rotation after they got Kevin Porter, Augustin, and Bradley. The only reason he may move the needle at all in LA is because they are missing both of their superstars, otherwise he wouldn’t.

      If McLemore was so great he would have been getting minutes in Houston.

      It’s so predictable how people think that Oladipo, Tucker, and McLemore are going to make such huge contributions for their new teams. Pathetic.

      • hiflew

        It’s not McLemore in particular I am talking about. It’s any player that fits the mold.

        BTW, it’s just as predictable for you to bad mouth former Rockets after they leave, so don’t be calling people out for predictability.

      • implant

        @wallywood you sound pretty bitter. I don’t know if McLemore will make a difference with the Lakers or not but as far as him not playing or playing well this season he has a great excuse. The Rockets have had 2 or 3 makeovers this season alone and there is no rhyme or reason to who plays and for how long. That franchise is spiraling downward and is a smoldering mess unlike any we have seen in quite something. You have no idea how happy I still am that it was the Lakers that drove the final nail in the coffin.

    • KnickerbockerAl

      A 3 n D wing who’s 6’3” and shoots .357% FG. Really Maybe being in the playoffs will wake him up.

    • JT19

      Is this only because he signed with the Lakers (or in the case for Griffin/Aldridge, the Nets)? I don’t remember seeing people have an issue with Teague and Rivers signing with the Bucks. Those signings are likely to push the needle about the same as McLemore does for the Lakers.

      Lakers are falling down the standings with LeBron and AD both being out so why can’t this be seen as the Lakers just trying to put a band-aid on a bigger problem.

      • hiflew

        I’m sure there are some that are just anti-big market, but it’s any team at the top of the standings for me. I don’t that guys can coast by on losing teams most of the season and then just attaching themselves like a barnacle to a winner without the top team even compensating the original team. All while the original team is paying the majority of their salary for the season. Even if they did have to give up some of their remaining salary.

        I just think it is unfair to the original team, but more importantly it is unfair to the lower playoff seeds. The tops seeds were already better teams, but now they get to stack their roster even more for free while the lower seeds had to give up both current and future assets in order to improve their team at the deadline.

        • JT19

          Teams could just dig in and say they won’t cut the player. Granted they run the risk of the player becoming a distraction/locker room issue but they do so willingly because its a win-win situation for them (even though it might not be a “big” win). The Spurs, for example, had little interest in playing Aldridge for the rest of the season. So rather than have him taking a roster spot and forcing him to be a bench warmer, they ask him to give back some of the money they would owe him and they’ll waive him (after unsucessfully trying to find a trade partner) so he can try to find playing time elsewhere. The Spurs save a little money and can use the vacated spot to roster somebody they’ve had their eye on.

        • Lakedoggz

          Blame bad teams for the overpaying of players than buying them out or just get rid of buying out players and waiving them after trades to make salaries work somebody is always gonna cry GO LAKERS!

    • JT19

      McLemore was making a minimal amount of money. So this isn’t a case where teams are passing on him because of his cost (as in the case with Aldridge and Griffin).

      If somebody saw him as a legit upgrade at the deadline, he probably could’ve been had for a highly protected second rounder or some end of bench player to match salaries.

      If McLemore was looking for the best/biggest role to try and set himself up for free agency, he likely could’ve signed with any other playoff contender and gotten that. As you said, he’s likely at the end of the bench if the Lakers were full strength, a string of DNPs isn’t doing anything to inflate his value even if the Lakers win a championship.

      So to me, it just sounds like an issue with the team he’s signing with. Don’t get me wrong, I get the arguments that the buyout market only helps the big teams but there is no logical solution. Forcing players who are bought out into a “draft” is just waivers, except its worse. If players are willing to sacrifice part of their salary to get bought out, why not let them choose where they want to sign with…after all they are FREE AGENTS if they go UNCLAIMED. The part everyone is getting hung up on is the word buyout. If a team just straight cut/released/waived a player, half of yall wouldn’t be losing your mind over this (and the other half wouldn’t care if it wasn’t the Lakers/Nets).

      • Corporal Foxtrot

        I mean look at Ainge. He said his team isn’t good enough but didn’t acquire Vucevic, didn’t trade for Miles Turner. Some GM’s have true guts, others lack fortitude.

        • Spike

          3 ECF in the LAst 4 years for The Celtics. Ainge added a great player for 2 2nd round pucks. Vuc turned Chicago around huh? TimeLord is what the C’s need at center. We have the O.

          • Corporal Foxtrot

            How many finals appearances since 2010? Weren’t the celtics supposed to make the finals since 2017? Last year they should have made it too. Yes. Make excuses for Ainge , who yes has put good rosters together, but always loses out on a good piece or two to improve the roster! Y’all really think Kemba is the right fit after ball hog Kyrie didn’t work.

            • Spike

              Kyrie committed and backed out. The Lakers tin this time was a year. How
              Many NBA champs two. best players are 23 and 24 with the experience they have. 2010
              Is a long time.

          • stevep-4

            Vucevic is starting to mesh now. Watch out, he and Lavine ran a couple of (double) pick n rolls tonight that were beauty to see. They have a stretch of winnable games now where they could go on a streak. Ball movement tonight was poetry, Vucevic was really the solution for two problems the Bulls had. Now they just need to realize that Markannen is a spot minutes player, not worth wasting regular rotation minutes on, and they will stop gumming up the works with his hesitant play.

        • Lakedoggz

          Ainge wants everyone free doesn’t give up anything gonna have to trade assets for assets LOL he’s a tight wad

      • hiflew

        But teams can’t do anything about it. GMs are afraid of not being a “player friendly” franchise and potentially losing out on future free agents if they try to claim someone and stop them from going to one of the top seeds. Probably rightly so.

    • Corporal Foxtrot

      Do you on the flip side condemn these GM’s for being cheap and not putting a contending roster around their respective stars??? Kings still can’t make the playoffs, the magic could never be a real threat after Howard, hawks still can’t make the playoffs…heck Ainge could have improved his team and didn’t!

    • DrSeuss69

      lebum used his agency to get solid players to follow him where he is becoming a joke with that and buyout market

  4. KnickHeat

    When I see the Nets sign Alize Johnson and the Lakers signing I just wonder why the Knicks think their chemistry is too good to try and land an offensive spark?

    • mlbnyyfan

      Unbelievable no one wants to play for the Knicks. At least the Lakers didn’t sign JR Smith again.

  5. Lil D MVC aka Uno

    With a new contract he will no longer have to buy his clothes at a thrift shop

  6. KnickerbockerAl

    Always a good idea to add depth for playoffs. Lakers could wind up as 6th seed. So it could be
    “Playoff Rondo” in the 1st round. That would be fun

  7. therook2525

    If they signed the McLemore of 2 yrs ago they just found what someone thought was trash and just threw away. Like the old saying goes, One mans trash is another mans treasure.

  8. Tatsumaki

    Have a strong feeling lonzo ends up back on lakers next summer. With the way negotiations with dennis are heading lakers could do a sign and trade to pelicans for dennis schroder plus a sweetener.

    • stevep-4

      Why would the Pels do that deal? Now they again have a logjam at pg. It would have to be some sweetener.

    • Cap & Crunch

      And that sweetener would be what exactly?

      Lakers would have to offload KCP let THT Caruso walk and have Harrell walk away for them to have the ability to entertain Lonzo in free agency

      Why do the Pelicans want a (probably) overpaid Dennis Schroeder for 4 years again in this scenario?

      Dennis has the Lakers over a barrel, I hope Lakers hold strong negotiations and keep that AAV down bc we all know if he signs a 4 yr deal he probably isn’t ending it with the Lakers….Lower AAV = better future trade value/ability

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