Jamaal Franklin Making Impressive Case to Join Los Angeles Lakers Next Season

Jamaal Franklin was flying way off the NBA radar just a few months ago. But the explosive 6’5”, 191-pound wing is now showing why he deserves a chance to join the Los Angeles Lakers next season.

Franklin joined the Lakers’ D-League affiliate, the Los Angeles D-Fenders, on Jan. 21. Since then, the 23-year-old has averaged 23 points, 8.5 rebounds and 5.7 assists per game—off the bench.

He has also notched five double-doubles and a triple-double in just 13 games.

The former member of the Memphis Grizzlies who was waived after his rookie season has not only scored in double figures in all 13 of his games with the D-Fenders, he has had three steals on three occasions and is the team’s third-leading rebounder.

As further evidence of his versatility, Franklin started in place of Roscoe Smith at the power forward position against the Santa Cruz Warriors Feb. 8, scoring 27 points. 

But there is more to the second-year pro than a stat-stuffing obsession.

After putting up 22 points, 11 assists, 10 boards, two steals and a block with no turnovers in a win against the Westchester Knicks Feb. 25, Franklin cast his effort in a refreshing light.

“The best thing about this game was the winning, not the triple-double,” said Franklin to Christina Kaplan of Lakers.com. “The biggest key is we’re moving the ball and playing defense now.”

That’s the kind of attitude that could benefit the Lakers—a team with a 16-46 record and needs across the board. Los Angeles has the worst defense in the league—giving up 105.8 points a game. And, the Lakers are only middling when it comes to putting the ball in the bucket, ranked 16th at 99.4 points per game.

It’s also the kind of mindset that could play well with Lakers coach Byron Scott, a practitioner of old-school fundamentals. Article Source: Bleacher Report - Los Angeles Lakers