Former Florida shooting guard Michael Frazier has agreed to terms with the Los Angeles Lakers on a two-year deal with partial guarantees, according to a report from Only Gators proprietor Adam Silverstein, who cites Frazier's agent, Matt Ramker.
A different league source told Silverstein that Frazier's deal "is for two years and has a partial guarantee," but Ramker would not confirm those details. Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders also reported Sunday that Frazier opted to join the Lakers over the Utah Jazz and Philadelphia 76ers — the latter destination one that would have reunited him with Scottie Wilbekin, a fellow Ramker client.
Some fans may remember Ramker as the man who ran the Florida Rams AAU program — which most famously produced Kasey Hill and Chris Walker — before being penalized by the NCAA for a relationship with agent Andy Miller, and whose wrongdoing was speculated to be connected to Walker's long stint in NCAA purgatory. Ramker now works for Miller's ASM Sports agency.
As SB Nation's Silver Screen and Roll notes, Basketball Insiders' Eric Pincus suggested Sunday that Frazier's deal includes $50,000 in guarantees, and a chance to play with the Lakers' D-League affiliate if he fails to make the Lakers' roster.
The move to the Lakers is both puzzling and practical. When Frazier signed on for a run through the NBA's Summer League with the Golden State Warriors, he was joining a team with plenty of depth on the wing, but one that could almost certainly find a use for his dead-eye shooting, as it found a use for nearly every player on its roster during its championship campaign in 2014-15.
The Lakers, though, have acquired a reputation for being almost hostile to three-point shooting under current coach Byron Scott, with Scott infamously declaring that he didn't believe threes correlated to championships and directing his team to eschew the shot to the team's detriment. Los Angeles finished 17th in three-point shooting percentage in 2014-15, and 25th in three-pointers attempted and made per game.
But that approach has (rightly) drawn criticism from all corners, as the NBA's increasingly valued the three-pointer as the most efficient shot in basketball. Bringing in Frazier — who can't claim to be above average at anything but shooting threes relative to the NBA player pool, but is so good at shooting them that he has been widely assumed to be a potential undrafted sleeper — would suggest they get that employing a sniper or two would make sense. Frazier's somewhat disappointing and injury-marred 2014-15 campaign at Florida, in which he shot "just" 38 percent from three (dropping his career average to 43.2 percent), still saw him make threes at a better clip than any Lakers player who played more than six games with the team last year.
While there's obviously some translation from the collegiate level to the pros, ESPN's Kevin Pelton used analytics to forecast ($) an NBA three-point percentage of .389 for Frazier. That level of accuracy would have ranked him just outside the top 30 shooters in the league in 2014-15.
Frazier will also be joining a former high school teammate in Los Angeles: D'Angelo Russell, who followed Hill as powerful Montverde Academy's point guard, played with Frazier at Montverde in 2011-12, with both players transferring into the school that year.