(Welcome to the 2013 Lakers Summer free agency guide. Be sure to check out our full archive of player capsules, news, editorials, and more on the Lakers free agency period over here.)
Corey Brewer is a name that fits the trend being established as we go over the free agency class to come on July 1. He's a wing player, he's younger than the majority of the current Los Angeles Lakers roster, and has a "damaged goods"-like sticker attached. The fact of the matter is the Lakers need to address wing depth one way or the other which makes all wings open floor for discussion.
Brewer's contract with the Denver Nuggets will come to an end this Summer, and with that will come a handful of suitors. The Nuggets themselves will also have to consider retaining Brewer, though their free agency period will be dictated on what Andre Iguodala decides to do (he is expected to opt-out of the final year of his contract).
2013-2014 will be Brewer's seventh year in the NBA. He has carved a niche as a rotational player in the league but lacks the chops to be a full time starter. Still, despite his shortcomings he could still be on the Lakers' "we need a wing" radar.
Why the Lakers should look at Brewer
- A "pesky" defender
- Adds depth to the wing position
- Provides athleticism the Lakers sorely need
- May be in price range of the L.A.
While Brewer would ultimately have a role in the Lakers rotation, he does not come without shortcomings -- as will any player that can fit under either the mini mid-level or minimum. Brewer would be another inconsistent shooter in the lineup. He is a career 29 percent shooter from beyond the arc, is a 69 percent shooter from the charity stripe, and shoots only 41 percent overall.
The man does not get buckets, he dents them.
Also, for going on seven years in the league he makes defensive mistakes that would make some rookies blush. While he is a tenacious individual, he also loses sight of defensive principles and team defense while overplaying his man and commits stupid fouls. Or, as we have come to know it, the "Sasha Vujacic" foul. The following sequence is a consolidated, visual, description of "bad" Brewer:
Andrew Feinstein at Denver Stiffs thinks highly of Brewer's disruptive defense, however, and had praise for the backup:
Brewer has developed into one of those intangible, off-the-bench, "glue" guys that help make decent playoff teams become legitimate conference finals contenders. Always in motion, Brewer wreaks havoc defensively with timely steals, hands-in-the-face defense and disruption of opposing teams' passing lanes. And on top of that, Brewer has made an assortment of clutch three-point shots this season, giving the Nuggets opportunities to win games that they otherwise would have no shot at winning.
A final thought: Brewer is also undersized for what the Lakers will be looking for with their limited assets. While the Lakers could integrate him into small ball lineups, ultimately he has shooting guard size and can not consistently defend larger wings. While he is 6'9, his 185 pound frame would make him a target to attack.
Brewer's 2012-2013 season
12.1 ppg, 42.5 fg%, 29.6 3p%, 1.4 stl, 2.9 rpg
Last Contract Value
Free agency prediction
While Brewer could be an option for the Lakers, it does not seem like a fit for either side. Brewer is likely to field offers that will at least equal his last contract value of $3.2 million, which would immediately stretch the Lakers to use their mini mid-level exception to sign a player that does not have enough utility to justify the cost.
At the minimum Brewer would be a fantastic signing for L.A. Adding an individual perimeter defender who can generate turnovers, is a proven rotation player at the very least, and is 27 would be a home run at the minimum. However, the likelihood of that happening is slim when other teams will definitely be interested in adding him to their roster.
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