The Los Angeles Lakers didn’t have a pick in this year’s NBA Draft, but they did add a player to the roster. General Manager Rob Pelinka made a few moves this offseason, and in the most recent wave, the Lakers signed undrafted free agent Zavier Simpson.
Simpson played basketball at Michigan and he was a Wolverine for four years. He was averaging over 33 minutes per game the last two years. In his senior season, Simpson was averaging 12.9 points and 7.9 assists. He ranked third in the country.
Lakers to rely on talents provided by the undrafted free agent
Similar to LeBron, Simpson relies on his pass-first mentality. The Lakers will find great use of this. Of course, he will have to work on his shooting and guarding abilities.
“Zavier can come in and run a team,” Jay Bilas from ESPN said of Simpson. “I think he’s a good defender and a very good pick-and-roll guard. I think he’s going to have to improve as a shooter to stick.”
Simpson signed with professional German squad Science City Jena in September and then backed out before the draft.
According to a scout that talked to MLive.com, COVID-19 and the inability to have a normal workout affected Simpson’s value on the market.
“Simpson would like to prove he could shoot the ball better than people think, that he can overcome his lack of size through his IQ and toughness and leadership,” the scout explained. “Interviews and going against top point guards would have been a great opportunity.”
Simpson played his AAU basketball with the King James Shooting Stars. This program was previously linked to four-time NBA champion LeBron James.
This is the most recent move LA made. They have already signed Oklahoma City Thunder guard Dennis Schroder. The deal is now official, and Danny Green will have to go.
In the 2019-20 season, Schroder was averaging 18.9 points, 4.0 assists, and 3.6 rebounds in 65 games for the Oklahoma City Thunder. The German native led the NBA in points scored off the bench. Schroder also finished second in NBA Sixth Man Award voting.