Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report believes the Los Angeles Lakers “need to find more ball-handlers and perimeter stoppers this summer,” which is why he has urged the team to pursue a two-time All-Star who has made one All-Defensive team in his career.

In a June 9 column, Buckley named Victor Oladipo as a player the Lakers should target this offseason. The 30-year-old, who played for the Miami Heat in 2021-22, becomes an unrestricted free agent this summer.

“The Lakers need to find more ball-handlers and perimeter stoppers this summer. Victor Oladipo offers the chance to scratch both itches,” Buckley wrote. “While a rash of injuries have potentially permanently removed him from his All-Star past, he still has plenty to offer in a supporting role. He didn’t debut this season until mid-March, made just eight regular-season appearances in all and still wound up logging the seventh-most playoff minutes for the Miami Heat, the East’s No. 1 seed and a conference finalist.

“His defense remains as pesky as they come, he can initiate offense and there are flashes of the skill set that once made him a two-way force. There are enough layers to his game to give him a significant role, and he could expand well beyond that if more of his All-Star touch returns.”

Oladipo appeared in only eight regular-season games for the Heat in 2021-22. He averaged 12.4 points, 2.9 rebounds and 3.5 assists while shooting 47.9% from the field, 41.7% from beyond the arc and 73.7% from the free-throw line.

The 2017-18 Most Improved Player of the Year, Oladipo logged the seventh-most playoff minutes for the Heat in the 2022 postseason and he showed some flashes of his old self.

Oladipo Averaged 1.3 Steals in 2022 Playoffs

Oladipo played in 15 postseason games for the Heat, who lost to the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals. The former Indiana Pacers star averaged 10.6 points, 3.4 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.3 steals.

In Game 3 of the conference finals against the Celtics, Oladipo recorded four steals in 20 minutes. His best performance of the postseason was versus the Atlanta Hawks in Game 5 of the first round. Oladipo finished with 23 points, three assists and three steals while shooting 8-of-16 from the floor and …read more



Lakers Urged to Pursue 2-Time All-Star in Free Agency

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