After going through most of the season without a reliable 3-point shooter, the Los Angeles Lakers traded rookie Svi Mykhailiuk and a future second-round pick for veteran sharpshooter Reggie Bullock. While his brief time in Los Angeles hasn’t involved a ton of winning, he still sees a future for himself with the Lakers.
After practice on Friday, the 27-year-old guard told reporters that he’d be interested in re-signing with the Lakers this summer when he hits unrestricted free agency (via Lakers.com):
“I would love to be back here with the Lakers. I was a fan of this organization pretty much my whole life, and the connection that me and Bron is building off handoffs and him continuing to find me spacing the floor, it’s continuing to build... We’ll see how it plays out during the summer.”
Bullock sees himself as the perfect complement to James and the rest of the team because of his ability to space the floor:
“I like the way they play, I mean (LeBron) gets into the paint, a lot of people absorb around him and he’s great at passing out of double teams, finding shooters, and (shooting is) a skillset that I have.”
Retaining Bullock, a career 39.5 percent 3-point shooter, would be huge for the Lakers, who will finish in the bottom-three in 3-point accuracy for the second consecutive season.
However, he won’t come cheap.
Teams are always in need of shooting, and only eight other players in the league can rival Bullock’s 38.3 percent 3-point shooting on 6.3 attempts per game. Only three of them will unrestricted free agency: Khris Middleton, Klay Thompson and JJ Redick.
Middleton and Thompson will almost surely get max contract and Redick hasn’t made less than 10 figures since 2017.
The Lakers, with roughly $39 million in cap space next summer, can keep Bullock around, but they’re likely going to have to pay him at least twice as much as the $2.5 million he’s making now, and they might even have to use the “L” word: long-term contract.
Wayne Ellington earned a one-year, $6.2 million contract for shooting 39.2 percent from behind the 3-point line on 7.5 attempts per game, so Bullock should get something within that ballpark.
If the Lakers want to keep Bullock and sign a 30 or 35 percent max free agent, they’re going to have to have a plan in place well before July 1. Let’s hope Bullock is interested enough to stay patient with the Lakers in free agency.