As we sit here waiting on Kawhi Leonard’s decision, we can ponder what the Lakers might be doing with the rest of their roster spots. They’ll have a Plan B if he doesn’t come, but even if he does, who will surround Kawhi, LeBron, and AD? Zach Norvell Jr. seems to be capable of stepping in.
In college, Zach Norvell Jr. shot exactly 37% from deep both in his freshman and sophomore campaigns. He could create for himself, but played more in a complementary role with Josh Perkins at the helm of the offense. That’s a good sign since he will be asked to be a role player once again with LeBron and Anthony Davis already there.
Last night, the former Gonzaga guard got the start for the Lakers and showed some promise handling the ball and shooting it from deep.
The set shot was on point for Norvell last night. He loved that left wing at Gonzaga and continued to spot up around there for the Lakers in the first Summer league action. He always utilizes a little hop step to get himself set and then has a beautiful stroke.
His release is extremely quick. He doesn’t need much room as showcased in that second clip and if you give him a solid pass to an open space on the floor, he’s going to usually convert. Speaking of relocating, Zach has great offensive awareness to notice where that open space is.
Norvell came down with 7 rebounds on the night which is promising because there were concerns about him being undersized. It wasn’t as much about his height as it was about his strength. Norvell wasn’t someone always willing to attack the rim and take contact as he averaged under 3 free throw attempts per game in both years at Gonzaga. Last night, he had 6 attempts at the line making 5 of them for a total of 11 points.
Finally, while Zach Norvell Jr. only had 3 assists, he looked confident with the rock. Joe Young was the lead guard for the Lakers even though he isn’t the best passer. It will be interesting to see if they give Norvell some more looks at point guard moving forward in Summer League.
Zach Norvell Jr. proved last night, despite only shooting 2/8 from the field, that he can make an immediate impact on this Lakers team this season. (He’s got a two-way contract with them.) Continue to keep an eye on him during Summer League.