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Thursday, August 11, 2022

Duane Washington Jr. is a perfect free agency target who the Lakers ought to seriously consider

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(AP Photo / Derick Hingle)

Although he was not selected in the 2021 NBA Draft, Washington signed as an untrained free agent with the Pacers. He signed a two-way deal in August 2021, which was converted to a standard contract in April 2022.

Washington has made seven appearances in the starting lineup, scoring at least 20 points in three separate games in January.

That includes a game where he hit seven 3-pointers against the Pelicans on January 24. Overall, according to Synergy, Washington ranks in the 85th percentile in terms of his catch-and-shoot jumpers in previous season.

Indiana has invested valuable resources in Washington’s on-court development, giving him nearly 1,000 minutes of play last year as he gains more comfort and familiarity with the NBA.

The Lakers must approach their roster building carefully. They need players willing to contribute alongside LeBron, but they also need more young players to prepare for a post-LeBron world. Washington fits those needs as he can hit his jumps but only turned 22 recently.

He had six games where he connected with four or more points last season. Outside of LeBron, the Lakers have only three players to hit the most threes in a game, and they’ve accounted for just six in total: Talen Horton-Tucker, Austin Reaves and Russell Westbrook each have two.

I am passionate about journalism and using new technology to spread news. I am also interested in politics and economics, and I am always looking for ways to make a difference in the world. I am the CEO of Janaseva News, and I am 24 years old.

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