You probably have already heard it, but I'll tell it to you anyways. Reports are that the Lakers have come to an agreement with free agent point guard Steve Blake. According to these reports, the agreement is for $16 million over four years, evenly distributed at $4 million per year.
Here's the deal. We love you, Jordan Farmar... it's just that we can probably love you a little better from afar. And we'll never get tired of Shannon Brown's dunks, but we've all known for a long time that neither of those guys was suited to take over at the point guard spot. Heck, neither of them can even be counted on to be reliable as a backup guard.
So with the off-season's only serious question answered yesterday (that one dude, what's his name? Oh yeah, Phil something...), the issues remaining to address have been depth at the point guard and center positions. This takes care of the former.
I'm not going to do a lot of editorializing for you, here, because truth be told, there are guys that know more about Steve Blake than me. But here's some info I've put together for you, so that you don't have to go searching for it elsewhere.
Playing for the Clippers and Blazers last year, Blake averaged 7.3 points and 4.8 assists in only 27 minutes per game. (If you're wondering, that's a rate that would translate to 9.7 points and 6.4 assists per 36 minutes). He shot .395 from the three, which makes me very happy, because he'll really be able to help us space the floor on offense. In fact, over the last two years he has mostly shot in the low-40% range from long distance. Nooiice. Our own Gil Meriken had this to say about him as a shooter:
My first thought, as an observer of live Clippers games, is that Blake is a willing passer, sometimes too much so, and he needs to shoot once in a while (he has a very nice touch), just to be regarded as a scoring threat.
Fortunately, Kobe and the Lakers coaching staff are known for giving shooters confidence and encouraging them to shoot the ball when they're open, so I'm not expecting any undue hesitancy to be a problem. Meanwhile, he's known as a very smart player who makes the right decisions. This from Eric Pinkus, via Twitter:
I covered Blake with the Clippers – very, smart player – coach’s mind – good locker room guy – good quotes
He's a seven-year veteran, 30 years old, and I've heard that he's a solid defender — though others will have to weigh in here, as I have little other than my own recollection of what essentially amounts to hearsay on which to base that last assertion. At the end of the day, however, it would seem that the Lakers have signed someone from whom we can likely expect willing passing, good outside shooting, good defense, and solid, consistent performance overall. When Fisher re-signs (don't worry, he will), the Lakers will be looking pretty good at was once a glaringly weak position.
And the best news of all is that the Lakers reportedly got Blake for very favorable terms. $16 million for four years should make all those who shuddered at the Mike Miller rumors ($30 million for five) happy. Considering that five other teams wanted Blake, per ESPN's Chris Sheridan. I'd be willing to bet you most, if not all, of those five teams were willing to pay him more than what he has accepted from L.A. Via Twitter (as always, these days), Woj said the same:
Steve Blake could’ve signed for more money elsewhere, but wisely chases ring with Lakers at 4 years for $16 million. Shrewd signing for L.A.
That's about everything I know on the matter, which makes this my second short post of the day. In related news, there are some reports that the sky may be beginning to fall. Back to you guys...