Lakers sign sons of Shaquille O’Neal and Scottie Pippen

The end of the draft is only the beginning of a new phase for the front offices of NBA franchises. After the traditional 60 selections – 58 this year – comes the time to recover disappointed players to fill the Summer League and G League squads. The Los Angeles Lakers, for their part, called on Shareef O’Neal et Scotty Pippen Jrtwo sons of legends.

A second O’Neal at the Lakers

Having had heart surgery in his first year in the NCAA before being transferred from UCLA to LSU, Shareef O’Neal’s course has been difficult. Multiple foot and ankle injuries limited him to 14 games last season, averaging 2.9 points and 2.1 rebounds. Not quite the best conditions to show off before the draft.

The son of Shaquille O’Neal was not selected this year, unsurprisingly. Despite his 2.10m, most pundits believe he is, at worst, unfit to play in the big leagues. At best, he’s not ready. But his bond with the former teammate of Kobe Bryant allowed him to get a workout in Los Angeles.

“I felt like in college I didn’t have enough opportunities. I didn’t feel like I was myself. [L’invitation au workout] opened many doors for me. I feel like I’m really back and I’ve been able to show a little bit what I can do.”he said after the session.

The Lakers then decided to give him a chance. He will thus be able to play the Summer League with the team, in the hope of standing out, selon Shams Charania de The Athletic. A chance that he certainly owes in large part to his family name.

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Scottie Pippen Jr on the same path

Since one was not enough, the Hollywood franchise killed two birds with one stone. She also offered a two-way contract to the son of Scottie Pippen, six-time NBA champion with the Bulls and Hall-of-Famer. Note, however, that his case is quite different.

Junior is coming off a season with 20.4 points and 4.5 rebounds per game with Vanderbilt. He made a good impression in several of his workouts. It is undoubtedly his small size (1.85m) that harmed him in the draft, but his qualities as scorers are well worth taking a little risk.

The Lakers front office offered him a two-way contract directly, after The Athletic. This will be an opportunity for him to show whether or not he is capable of rubbing shoulders with the big guys in the professional world. He, more than Shareef, can believe it.

Draft 2022: all picks and all moves



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