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Svi Mykhailiuk is heading to the Raptors in free agency

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The Lakers drafted Svi Mykhailiuk in 2018, but after he considered returning to the team in free agency, he instead signed with the Raptors.

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NBA: DEC 05 Spurs at Lakers Photo by Icon Sportswire

Update: Svi Mykhailiuk ultimately signed with the Raptors immediately after news broke that Rajon Rondo would be heading back to the Lakers.

Original story follows.

The Los Angeles Lakers currently have 12 players signed to guaranteed contracts, which leaves them with three open roster spots, and four spots to invite players to training camp. The team reportedly wants to leave one of those three guaranteed spots open, but that still leaves two more, and it sounds like former Laker Svi Mykhailiuk could be an option for one of them.

Mykhailiuk is currently an unrestricted free agent after spending parts of last season with the Detroit Pistons (the team the Lakers traded him to midway through his rookie year) and the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The Thunder pulled Mykhailiuk’s qualifying offer on Aug. 4, which turned him from a restricted free agent to an unrestricted one, free to sign anywhere he wants without the fear of OKC matching. The 24-year-old has waited patiently in free agency since then, but according to Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com, he could be getting closer to finding his next destination (emphasis mine):

Garrison Matthews, Denzel Valentine and Svi Mykhailiuk are free agency options [for the Cavaliers]. Mykhailiuk, sources say, may join the Los Angeles Lakers on a minimum deal.

Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reported previously that the Lakers were looking for a point guard and wing with their next two roster spots, and Mykhailiuk fits the bill as the latter. Listed at 6’7 and 205 pounds, he has played an estimated 63% of his minutes at small forward during his career, according to Basketball Reference.

Drafted in the second round as a dead-eye shooter after a pre-draft workout so impressive that it essentially became an urban legend among Lakers sources, Mykhailiuk was dealt just halfway through his rookie season after only shooting 31.8% from three in 39 games as the team looked to upgrade with Reggie Bullock for a playoff push (it didn’t work).

The 2019-20 season was better for the Jayhawks product, as Mykhailiuk showed the sniping potential that made him such an enticing prospect, hitting 115 of the 285 threes he took that year for Detroit (40.4%). He tailed off last season, however, making just 33.4% of his triples over 66 games with the Pistons and Thunder. He did have a pretty great dunk right after being acquired by OKC at the trade deadline, though:

And at just 24 and coming off of several years with up-and-down roles and expectations, Mykhailiuk could be worth a flyer at the minimum for a veteran Lakers team that does reportedly want to get a little younger. This could just be your stereotypical “agent links a client to the bogeyman of the Lakers to scare another team into signing them quickly” report, so take it with a grain of salt, but it also could signify legit interest from the team, and is at the very least an interesting name for the Lakers to consider as the offseason winds down.

And hey, he already got to meet LeBron once as a 21 year old kid, fresh out of college...

... so it could be cool to see them get to play together.

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