Lakers rookie Cole Swider needs to be a much bigger and higher Duncan Robinson

LA VEGAS — Down seven with 5 minutes to go, the Lakers regarded set to moan to the end line for the second sport in a row to open their race to the Las Vegas Summer League. After holding a 15-point lead earlier within the competitors, their offense had stalled, permitting the Hornets to take a lead because the clock ran out in the direction of the dying moments of the sport.

Instantly, as if a pure pressure as highly effective as gravity swung the sport’s pendulum again to equilibrium, the Lakers have been tied once more in moments. In just 32 secondsCole Swider knocked down 4 photographs to finish consecutive four-point performs, tying the sport at 75 apiece.

After Swider McGradian The run culminated within the laser beam under he could not resist saying a couple of phrases within the path of Kai Jones – the Hornets’ first-rounder in 2021 whom Swider praised for his ‘bodily presents’ in protection . After I had the chance to ask Swider in regards to the content material of his verbal outburst, he admitted he thought of himself “a really passionate gamer”, however denied any modicum of direct dialog, referring to his previous of Wildcat as one thing that required studying to play with “a robotic face all around the sport”.

If Swider cannot fairly preserve an android-like composure, that is comprehensible. He is had loads of causes to really feel good since beginning his professional profession with the Lakers. Swider was coming off a 5-8 efficiency from lengthy vary, making him a blistering 17-30 from deep in his first 5 video games as a professional.

To this point, nobody has made extra threes than Swider, resulting in one of the crucial environment friendly scoring profiles in the complete Summer season League:

He is such a proficient marksman that opposing groups have truly began charging for him to take dwelling probably the most profitable offensive weapon on the Lakers’ Summer season League aspect.

“Even right here within the Summer season League, you’ll be able to really feel the scouting report on him is in his airspace. Typically he will get fouled on a few of these traces as a result of they’re so shut,” Lakers Summer season League head coach Jordan Ott noticed.

Even in opposition to universally stifling protection, Swider had 15 triples in two video games, a top-five mark within the Las Vegas Summer League on the finish of the Lakers’ final sport. Nevertheless, Ott stated he believes Swider could be much more aggressive to find his shot than he has been, noting his shot gravity is a key benefit for the crew’s attacking spacing.

In his personal post-game presser after Sunday evening’s sport, Swider was requested who he would evaluate his personal sport to, Swider instantly cited Duncan Robinson as somebody whose slender however elite skillset created a manner for extra gamers like him to carve out reputable lives. within the league.

“That is why I had this chance to play with the Lakers,” admitted Swider. “Due to guys like Duncan Robinson, like Joe Harris, like all these guys throughout the NBA who’ve confirmed you want a [movement shooter] like that who [you] can carry out actions for.

He additionally credited his highschool and school techniques for instilling in him the behavior of all the time working with out the ball with a purpose to get open.

“Particularly this final 12 months in Syracuse there have been performs [that were run] for me, so I form of obtained used to working with out the ball,” Swider stated.

As certainly one of Orange’s most threatening offensive choices, he merely needed to dash with out the basketball if he ever wished to the touch the defenses geared toward stopping him from seeing open appears to be like from deep.

And whereas it is most likely truthful to say Robinson underperformed the primary of his five-year, $90 million deal whereas capturing simply 37.2% from deep – his worst mark since his 15-year rookie season. matches – it is smart that Swider would aspire to comply with in his footsteps. Nearly any crew can use a high-end shooter, even when Swider lacks the foot pace or common polish of Robinson at this level in his profession.

Like undrafted Robinson, nonetheless, Swider fell to a crew with a impeccable file to search out and develop undervalued expertise. For the second, Swider’s Two-Way Contract will restrict him to a most of fifty NBA video games in his rookie season and bar him from making the playoffs, lest the Lakers determine to provide him a full, assured take care of the NBA. At simply half the league’s minimal wage, Swider has an opportunity to make a direct impression on a Lakers roster starved for dependable capturing.

Very like Robinson, who spent three years on the College of Michigan after transferring from Division III Williams Faculty, Swider has a comparatively lengthy monitor file of taking part in in among the best techniques within the school sport. After three years as a rotational participant at Villanova below head coach Jay Wright, Swider was moved up north to tackle a major scoring function as a part of Jim Boeheim. Syracuse Orange for his senior season.

Nevertheless, the 6’9” Swider (appropriately) stated he was truly taller than the 6’7” Robinson when requested to outline what separates him from the swingman Warmth, arguing that his peak benefit provides him the power to compete defensively in opposition to taller forwards. Additionally, as a much bigger participant, he ought to have the ability to shoot in opposition to a better share of gamers tasked with guarding him.

But the scale, IQ and aggressive spirit that Swider has proven solely go thus far on protection – maybe Swider’s greatest weak spot and most obtrusive impediment stopping him from getting fast NBA-level minutes. It was nearly definitely his turnstile protection that saved Swider’s title from being known as at any time throughout the occasions of June 23. NBA Draft. He’s neither significantly robust nor very jumpy; he strikes easily and with objective, however lacks the brilliance in any path to cling to lots of the gamers he has been tasked with guarding, a problem that may solely improve to each on the G League and NBA degree.

Responding to these issues, Swider smiled confidently, in a manner that made it clear he had some consciousness of his personal bodily limitations in comparison with the standard NBA ahead, saying he hopes so as to add muscle this been whereas persevering with to see reps versus execs, every of which may assist him enhance to that finish.

“I wish to be good in defence, by no means query that,” Swider stated.

If he can lock down a daily function in LA’s rotation, I hope it is as a result of he is too good to be benched or demoted, not as a result of they do not have the respectable gamers required. to fill 48 minutes of basketball (as they did for a lot of final season). Enhancing his protection on the ball sufficient to keep away from being chased the second he steps onto an NBA court docket (one thing that saved Robinson off the bottom for a lot of final season’s playoffs), would go a great distance. to provide him the minutes to change into certainly one of LeBron James’ favourite passing targets this coming season.

If that’s the case, the Lakers could have discovered themselves one other undervalued expertise outdoors of the draft, efficiently exercising certainly one of their few paths to enchancment regardless of their present wage cap restrictions. If Swider turns into probably the greatest motion shooters within the league, the Lakers may have the choice of paying him as such, or extracting some worth from the best to take action earlier than letting him stroll in free company (as they l did with Alex Caruso).

Cole Swider will not be Duncan Robinson but, or ever for that matter, however at as little as a thirty sixth within the worth, this low-risk signing has an opportunity to be one of many Lakers’ greatest this offseason. .

Cooper is a lifelong Laker fan who additionally lined the Yankees at SB Nation’s Pinstripe Alley — no, he isn’t a Cowboys fan, too. You possibly can hear it on the Lakers Multiverse Podcast and discover him on Twitter at @cooperhalpern.

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