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Taurean Prince says he feels more valued by Lakers than any other team in his career

Taurean Prince has been a lock to start each game for the Lakers and that trust has brought out the best version of himself.

Memphis Grizzlies v Los Angeles Lakers Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images

Taurean Prince was one of the first signings of the offseason by the Lakers this summer. In our player season preview, we mentioned the best outcome for Prince was being a quality starter on this team and he’s been exactly that for the Lakers. He has started in all 35 games he’s played in and averaged 30.5 minutes and 9.9 points per game.

On a team that’s ranked sixth lowest in the league in 3-point shooting, Prince is one of the Lakers’ best shooters. He’s shooting at a 39.5% clip, just a few decimal points behind the team’s best shooter, LeBron James.

According to Prince, one of the reasons he’s had so much success is the trust this team has in him.

“I feel more valued here probably than I have anywhere in my career,” Prince said following the Lakers win versus the Clippers. “I think that’s more so a testament to the organization, the people that work within. I’ve been blessed to meet a lot of people throughout my years in the league so there’s a lot of familiar faces around here. They’ve seen my growth since meeting me and they’ve seen my growth now, seeing me again years later. I think the trust is there and so it’s up to me to just continue to keep that trust at a high level and put in the work I know I can to stay consistent at doing my job.”

Looking at stats, watching games, and focusing on the film, you can forget that these are people. And just like us, they can shine or fade in different environments and situations.

The tricky thing is we don’t honestly know them or the inner workings of most organizations, so it’s tough to assume the onus is on the team, not the player when judging a player’s performance.

With these quotes, we don’t have to assume. Prince is letting us know he appreciates this environment and feels a support he’s never felt anywhere else.

“I think it’s just the trust,” Prince said. “When you know somebody trusts you to do your job, I think you want to do it at the best of your ability. I think that’s what kept me locked in and a big reason why I’ve appreciated being here is just the trust level that everybody on this team has for me. You have to appreciate those things in this league because sometimes it doesn’t come.”

That trust was on full display against the Clippers on Sunday.

He was in the game during crunch time in the fourth and converted on a three with a minute and change left to give the Lakers the lead. In the closing seconds, with James inbounding the ball, he passed it to Prince and he delivered again by getting fouled and hitting both free throws to keep the Clippers at bay.

A player on a team will rarely bash that organization while he’s on it, but for Prince to point out that the support and value is higher here than anywhere before matters.

Prince may not have numbers that jump off the page or be considered an elite shooter across the league, but he’s done his job, been consistently available and played relatively well compared to previous seasons.

We’ll see how the roster shakes out after the trade deadline, but for now, he’s got the trust of the Lakers to make winning plays on a nightly basis.

You can follow Edwin on Twitter at @ECreates88.

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