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Season Review: Cole Swider

Cole Swider got very little run with the main squad, but played well in the G-League. Should the Lakers run it back with Swider?

Sioux Falls Skyforce v South Bay Lakers Photo by Tom O’Connor/NBAE via Getty Images

Cole Swider, the Michigan man signed a two-way contract with the Lakers this season. With the success the purple and gold have had in the draft and with undrafted players such as Austin Reaves, there was optimism that the Lakers got another steal.

However, Swider never got a chance to showcase his skills with the Lakers, only playing in a handful of games and usually just for a couple of minutes of garbage time. So why didn’t a sharpshooter like Swider get a chance, and how should we evaluate his season?

How Was Their Season?

Well, one reason it was hard for Swider to get any run is because he was hurt to start the season. He suffered a navicular stress reaction to his right foot, which sidelined him for weeks. He wasn’t able to come back until February, and he had to ease back in with a minutes restriction with the Southbay Lakers.

Once he was healthy enough to be considered, L.A. made major roster shakeups and was in desperation mode, trying to fight for a play-in spot. They weren’t going to experiment with a two-way player when they had to focus on implementing new players like Malike Beasley and Jarred Vanderbilt, so Southbay is where Swider stayed for the majority of the 2022-23 campaign.

In the G-League, Swider was impressive. While averaging 28.7 minutes per game, Swider scored 17.1 points per game and shot 43% from three. This kind of shooting ability is exactly the kind of player the Lakers need moving forward, and while G-League performance is not a one-to-one of NBA production, it’s a good sign that Swider can dominate at this level.

Should the Lakers Bring Him Back?

I think the Lakers can and will give Swider a chance to play for a role with the team next year. He’s a shoo-in to be part of the Summer League roster and depending on his performance there and at training camp, that will dictate whether he gets a two-way contract, a G-League deal, or makes the main roster. It feels like the Lakers have been on a never-ending search for a consistent three-point specialist for years now, and though I’m not certain if Swider is the answer, bringing him back next year to find out is worth a shot.

You can follow Edwin on Twitter at @ECreates88.

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