McLemore, the No. 7 pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, hasn’t exactly lived up to his pre-draft hype, but he’s carved out a nice role in the NBA as a 3-point specialist. Last season with the Houston Rockets, McLemore shot 40% from behind the arc in the regular season while averaging 6.4 3-point attempts per game. Through 11 games in the postseason, he shot 38.9% from deep on 3.3 attempts per game.
McLemore’s shooting has dipped this season, but his new head coach, Frank Vogel, is confident that McLemore is the high-caliber shooter that the Lakers had to scout for in the Western Conference Semifinals last season.
“He’s a guy that we had to know where he was at all times during that Houston series because he’s such an elite shooter,” Vogel said. “And like I said, we’re trying to win a championship here, so as much firepower as we can get, as many weapons as we can get, we’re going to try and get, and Ben instantly elevates our ability to knock down threes on the backside when double teams come and play the drive-and-kick game that the modern NBA is made on.
“We’re thrilled about his addition and we’re looking forward to getting him some minutes in our program.”
In addition to his shooting, McLemore is expected to be a threat as a cutter because of his leaping ability. McLemore competed in the dunk contest as a rookie in 2014. Upon arrival, he’ll be one of the best pure athletes on the roster.
Shooting will be priority No. 1 for McLemore during his time with the Lakers, though, and for good reason. Through 51 games, the Lakers are ranked 25th in the NBA in 3-point efficiency at 35.3%. While it’s an improvement from last season, it could be better.
McLemore joined the Lakers on Tuesday night and is expected to be available when the Lakers take on the Miami Heat on Thursday, according to Vogel. It’s unlikely that he’ll get meaningful minutes right away with Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Wesley Matthews and Talen Horton-Tucker all currently ahead of him in the rotation, but that could change if he knocks down his 3-pointers early and often.
The Lakers and Heat will tip-off at 4:30 p.m. PT.