Following the conclusion of the 2022 NBA Draft, the Los Angeles Lakers signed Syracuse stretch-4 Cole Swider to a two-way contract, attempting to address one clear roster deficiency: perimeter shooting.
Before turning pro, Swider’s shooting was arguably on its greatest display against the University of North Carolina when he dropped 36 points while shooting 7-11 on attempts from behind the arc.
That shooting has translated over to the Summer League thus far with the Portsmouth native sizzling from distance, hitting an unbelievable 19 of his 36 shots from deep.
When you see Swider’s jumper, it immediately stands out as a particularly “pretty” one — as numerous commentators have noted — with his form and mechanics flowing quite well. However, there’s a lot more to his shotmaking, especially on a wide variety of looks, than its aesthetic appeal.
I broke down Swider’s long-range marksmanship in the following video:
As we all know — or hopefully have learned by now — having a great Summer League doesn’t necessarily correlate with being an impact player during the season. The Lakers will certainly hope that Swider’s shooting is able to translate to in-season impact.
However, his ability to stay on the court very well might come down to his defensive development. While his ability to shoot the ball could help patch over one of the Lakers’ roster’s greatest weaknesses, his substandard defense could be too big of a burden to bear.
The Lakers’ player development staff is arguably one of the best in the league, headlined by assistant coaches Phil Handy and now Chris Jent, so Swider should be in very good hands.
As always, only time will tell how his development ultimately plays out.
Dr. Rajpal Brar, DPT has a doctorate in physical therapy from Northern Arizona University, and runs his own in-person and online sports medicine and performance business, 3CB Performance, in West LA and Valencia, CA in which he further combines his movement expertise and fitness training. Combining his background in biomechanics, movement science, and learning science - he consults in a variety of sports including basketball on movement mechanics and skill acquisition. Brar is additionally training at UCLA’s mindful awareness research center (MARC), has a background in youth basketball coaching and analyzes the Lakers from a medical and skills perspective for Silver Screen and Roll and on his own YouTube Channel. You can follow him on Twitter at @3cbPerformance.