How LA Lakers’ Draft Reshaped Their NBA Free-Agency Plans

With the 48th pick in the 2013 NBA draft, the Los Angeles Lakers selected Ryan Kelly.

In many cases, how a team fares on draft night can shape their plans for free agency, but for the Lakers, almost nothing changes.

If anything, drafting Kelly may mean that L.A. won’t be re-signing Antawn Jamison, as Kelly essentially serves the same function. He’s a face-up, jump-shooting big man—the classic prototype of a stretch 4.

Mike D’Antoni used Jamison in that role last season, and the wily old veteran actually performed admirably—at least on the offensive end.

Jamison scored nearly 16 points per 36 minutes and knocked down 36 percent of his threes. His intelligent movement off the ball and vast array of runners, baby hooks and awkward flip shots also contributed to him posting the second-highest offensive rating of any Laker, trailing only Steve Nash.

Kelly doesn’t have the touch and scoring instincts around the basket that Jamison does, but he’s got a purer stroke and is deadlier from beyond the arc. He connected on over 42 percent of his triples as a senior, after converting nearly 41 percent as a junior.

His 6'11" frame should help him in situations near the hoop, and hopefully on defense as well. Kelly was a good shot-blocker in college, but only average overall defensively.

The Duke product doesn’t possess great foot speed or lateral quickness. Quicker forwards can beat him off the dribble and guards can turn the corner on him in the pick-and-roll. Despite his height, his average wingspan limits his length and his thin frame doesn’t make for a very imposing presence in the paint.

Kelly can probably develop into being an adept shooting specialist who can stretch defenses from the power forward spot. In fact, he may be able to step in and contribute this year.

Former Blue Devils taken in the second r...

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