Jabari Brown Can Be More Than Just Insurance for Los Angeles Lakers Next Season

The guy in goggles lighting it up for the Los Angeles Lakers recently in Las Vegas Summer League, the one who might look familiar from the blur that was last season—that was Jabari Brown. On a team with a deep backcourt, the 22-year-old is trying to prove he can be more than an insurance policy.

After missing two games with a scratched cornea, the 6’5” shooting guard made up for lost time by making every shot in sight.

Brown led L.A. in scoring with 17 points per game in 30 minutes, noting, per Lakers.com: “I’m just trying to improve every game, just show that what I did at the end of the year wasn't a fluke.”

The “end of the year” was 19 games, including five starts, in which Brown averaged 11.9 points on an injury-ravaged squad that was well on its way to a 21-61 campaign.

Undrafted a year ago, Brown received a training camp invite from the Lakers, appearing in four preseason games before being cut. He wound up signing with the organization’s D-League affiliate, the Los Angeles D-Fenders.

That foot in the door played out with Brown becoming the D-League’s leading scorer at 24.4 points per game. And when the Lakers were bereft of options late in a train wreck of a season, they handed the rookie a 10-day tryout and then another one before ultimately signing him for the balance of the season on a multiyear deal. 

Brown will have to sweat more steps going forward with a non-guaranteed salary of $845,059 for next season. The Lakers can also make a qualifying offer of $1,225,539 for 2016-17.

Lakers head coach Byron Scott didn’t go easy on the prospect during the closing weeks of the season, this for a team that was lottery bound.

“He surpassed a lot of the things I thought he couldn’t do,” Scott said, per Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News. ...

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