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.