The Lakers took a strong step toward improving one of the worst reserve units in the league, agreeing to terms with free-agent forward Antawn Jamison.
Jamison, 36, averaged 17.2 points and 6.3 rebounds last season with Cleveland and received more lucrative offers from other teams, but none had the playoff potential of the Lakers. He also considered Charlotte and New Jersey.
He will receive the veteran’s minimum of $1.4 million for one season, a steep drop from the $15.1 million he made last season with the Cavaliers.
Jamison can play both forward positions, though he is not expected to dislodge incumbent starter Metta World Peace at small forward.
He has shot 45.1%, including 34.1% from three-point range, over his career. The Lakers will try to use him to stretch the court and inject life into a punchless group of reserves.
The problems with Jamison are his age and his shooting percentage last season. The 14-year veteran can’t do much about the former, but the Lakers hope he can improve the latter. He shot only 40.3% last season, low for a 6-foot-9 player.
Before Jamison, the Lakers’ backups were Steve Blake, Josh McRoberts, Darius Morris, Andrew Goudelock and Christian Eyenga. The agent for Devin Ebanks recently told The Times his client would sign the Lakers’ one-year contract offer for about $1 million, though the Lakers have yet to receive the signed agreement.
With Ebanks, the above group averaged only 18.8 points combined last season, an unimpressive aggregate.
The Lakers also picked up two players late in the second round of the draft: Marquette guard Darius Johnson-Odom and Gonzaga center Robert Sacre. It’s unlikely both will make the team.
The Lakers continue to negotiate with Jordan Hill, an unrestricted free-agent forward-center who has drawn interest from a handful of teams. The Lakers want him back but won’t go too deep financially to make it happen.