According to Ramona Shelburne of ESPN Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Lakers have signed Marcus Landry to a partially guaranteed contract. The deal offers a training camp invitation, but Shelburne reports the Lakers like the idea of bringing Landry onto their main roster.
So, what are the pros and cons of signing Landry?
If the name sounds familiar, it's because he's the brother of Sacramento Kings power forward Carl Landry. The two brothers share an uncanny ability shoot the basketball, with Carl Landry establishing himself as a mid-range marksman and Marcus Landry spacing it out.
That's exactly what he plans to do in Los Angeles.
While nothing is guaranteed, Landry's signing has been a long time coming.
He stood out at the Las Vegas Summer League, was a dominant force in the D-League and has remained an active name in the rumor mill throughout the course of the offseason. With that being said, this signing wouldn't be flawless.
Nor would it come without good reason.
Pro: Lights-Out Shooting
During the 2012-13 NBA regular season, the Lakers ranked third with 24.6 three-point field goals attempted per game. They were also 19th in three-point field-goal percentage.
Something about that doesn't add up, and that's why they need sharpshooters.
Jordan Farmar, rookie Ryan Kelly and Nick Young should all help in that regard, but it's hardly enough support. Steve Nash is a marksman, Kobe Bryant is capable, and Jodie Meeks can light it up, but a team that relies on the three can't trust point guards and an inconsistent wingman to help Meeks and Bryant.
They either need depth or a cast of pure shooters who can play for more than 20 minutes a night. They don't have the latter, so it's time to work on the former.
It's no coincidence that Landry, their recent signing, shot 42.8 percent from beyond the arc during the 2012-13 NBA D-League regular season. His win at the 2013 D-League Three-Point Shootout further proves how nicely he'd fit with the Lakers.
Without an answer at small forward—as Wesley Johnson and an undersized Kobe shape up to be the most probable fits to carry the minutes—signing a three-point sharpshooter with ideal size at 6'7" is the smart move.
Con: Lakers Need Interior Depth
If the 2012-13 NBA regular season began today, the Lakers would move forward with an interior of Pau Gasol, Jordan Hill, Chris Kaman, Robert Sacre, and rookies Elias Harris and Ryan Kelly. That is a decent amount of depth, but here's the kicker.
Gasol and Hill each missed 30-plus games due to injury, while Kaman sat out 16 in 2012-13. After the Lakers saw each of their starters battle injuries last season, that says one thing.
The Lakers need to add another veteran.
Gasol, Hill and Kaman will create a nice three-man rotation down low, while Sacre is expected to make strides from his rookie season. With Harris and Kelly unlikely to play much as rookies, we're left with one important question: If Gasol, Hill or Kaman goes down, can the Lakers trust Sacre to contribute more than 20 quality minutes per evening?
Until proven otherwise—and we're inclined to say no after Sacre played 6.3 minutes per game as a rookie—a 6'7" small forward won't be the one to help down low.
If the decision were in my hands, the Lakers would sign Lamar Odom and give their core one last shot before their pending free agency. Due to the fact that the Lakers still haven't signed Odom, however, I'm inclined to believe there's something the general public doesn't know.
Until Odom gets into significantly better shape than he was in last season, Landry appears to be the most rational option.
Chris Douglas-Roberts is a superior slasher, while Shawne Williams is the type of athlete who could make an impact both on defense and in transition. With the Lakers heavily dependent upon the three-ball, they'll need all of the shooters they can find.
With all due respect to all men involved, entering the season as the 12th man suggests minutes will be tough to come by. Odom remains the more favorable option, as his upside is higher, but Landry can shoot the lights out.
If you're going to have a player on the floor for limited amounts of time, he might as well be strong in an area of weakness.
The upside is limited, but for a team whose bench struggled to generate any form of offense in 2012-13, adding a sharpshooter is about as rational an idea as you could come up with. It may not be flashy, but the Lakers need to part ways with what looks nice and go with what actually works.
Signing Landry works.
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