Los Angeles Lakers: Tony Snell As A Potential Free Agent Target

Jan 8, 2017; Milwaukee, WI, USA;  Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal (3) drives for the basket against Milwaukee Bucks guard Tony Snell (21) in the first quarter at BMO Harris Bradley Center. Beal scored 26 points to help the Wizards beat the Bucks 107-101. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers should take a look at Tony Snell, who could provide offense and some defense to Los Angeles’ wing arsenal.

The Los Angeles Lakers severely lack solid wings on their current roster.

You can never have too many wing players. The league has evolved from a big man’s game to a game where threes, dunks, and the ability to switch and defend on the perimeter matter the most. If you can’t acquire the best wings, acquiring several wing players who can shuffle between three positions and provide adequate spacing is huge.

And thus, the offseason quest begins. The Lakers have already expressed an interest in Paul George – and vice-versa – but in the event that George lands elsewhere, Los Angeles will need to retool their roster with players with better, more all-around perimeter players.

One of the players that should intrigue Los Angeles is Milwaukee forward Tony Snell.

Selected with the 20th overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, Snell was seen as a potential 3-and-D talent that could take the Jimmy Butler development path. It never happened, as Snell played three lackluster seasons in Chicago before being shipped out to Milwaukee for Michael Carter-Williams

In Milwaukee, Snell saw his numbers take a steady jump, averaging 8.5 points and 3.1 rebounds per game. Not the greatest numbers, but playing alongside a dominant offensive player like Giannis Antetokounmpo, Snell found himself thriving as a catch-and-shoot player, knocking down 40 percent of his threes and took a career-high 355 threes.

He’s a low-usage wing player who can space the floor and defend a couple positions on the perimeter. Standing 6’7″ with a wingspan near seven feet, Snell can attempt to shuffle and defend shooting guards and small forwards. He’s not an elite defender, but can provide “3” and some “D” entering his age-26 season.

Should Los Angeles make a move on him?

It starts with guard play. Los Angeles traded Lou Williams midseason and Nick Young will most likely decline his player option and opt for free agency. If Young does hit free agency, Los Angeles will have Corey Brewer, Jordan Clarkson, D’Angelo Russell and David Nwaba on the roster. Not great. 

Snell’s shooting would also be valuable to Los Angeles if they lose Young.  Of all the players projected to return, only Russell returns with a three-point shooting percentage above 34 percent. There’s hope that some players could take a step forward, but Los Angeles is currently gridlocked with several questionable shooters on the roster.

However, there are some questions as to whether Snell’s shooting is legit. How much of his success was due to the gravity of Antetokounmpo and his overall offensive ability? It remains to be seen and how much Los Angeles, or any other team, will be willing to pay Snell.

The toughest part for Los Angeles here is that Snell is entering free agency as a restricted free agent, meaning Milwaukee can match any deal that thrown his way. The Bucks have their own intriguing free agency decision with Greg Monroe, but Snell has to be high on the retain list after his solid season.

The offseason is still months away, but one nice fit for Los Angeles is Tony Snell. He’s a young wing player who can space the floor and at least provide average defense, which would be an upgrade to the Lakers roster.

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