According to various media reports, former Michigan State guard Keith Appling has agreed to a non-guaranteed deal with the Los Angeles Lakers to attend their training camp this fall.
This is obviously great news for Appling, who went un-drafted in the 2014 NBA Draft and played for the Trail Blazers summer league team, but only averaged eight minutes of playing time and two points a game.
To be honest, this move makes sense for the Lakers. Despite having a good off-season, the Lakers still need to add depth at the point guard position, which is why this is a good no-risk move for the Lakers. Think about it, the Lakers currently have 13 players under contract for the 2014-15 season meaning they could fill out two more roster spots if they choose to. So they decide to bring in a solid player like Appling to camp and see what he is capable of, and if for whatever reason he doesn’t produce, they can let him go with any problems.
However, I think if Appling plays his cards right, he could very well make the Lakers roster. The former Detroit Pershing star had an injury to his right wrist in the second half of his senior season which some people feel derailed his draft stock, but now that Appling is healthy, he shouldn’t let anything stop him from making an impact in camp.
Now, I know that he may not have had the most flashy stats during his time at Michigan State but let’s not forget that Appling, was one of the key players for the Spartans throughout his entire career. As a senior, he improved every aspect of his game, while averaging 11 points, four assists, three rebounds and shooting 45 percent from the field and 36 percent from three.
Most importantly, Appling comes to camp, with four years of college basketball under his belt, meaning that Appling has the experience that many young players lack.
In simpler terms, going into camp with the Lakers, Appling understands how to take more high percentage shots and not force anything and take what the defense gives him. On top of that, he also understands the “fine line” between being a creator and scorer, basically meaning that he understands, when it’s time to be a facilitator and get others involved and when it’s time to take over games and score.
I know Appling may have never turned into the explosive and top rated player at the college level, like so many envisioned but there is no doubt in my mind that he has the potential to be a solid player in the NBA. If he can show the Lakers that he can score from the perimeter and create for others, there is nothing stopping the former Detroit Pershing Doughboy from becoming the newest member of the Los Angeles Lakers or possibly making the D-League affiliate, the Los Angeles D-Fenders.
Written by LBeasley (Lauren Beasley), Sports Contributor for Radio One Detroit
For more of L-Beasley’s (Lauren Beasley) sports news and in-depth sports content, click here.
Former Spartan Keith Appling Will Join The Los Angeles Lakers in Training Camp was originally published on wchbnewsdetroit.com