Buffalo alum Nick Perkins signed with the Los Angeles Lakers for the summer league on Friday evening, which means that Perkins will get the chance to battle for a roster spot next to LeBron James and Anthony Davis this upcoming NBA season. The Lakers summer league team is playing the “California Classic” and will face the Heat, Warriors, and Kings this July.
Positionally, the Lakers are pretty solid at the 4 which is likely what Perkins’ position would be at the NBA level. 5 of the 6 players that the Lakers have under contract currently have experience at the 4 in LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Mo Wagner, Kyle Kuzma, and Jemerrio Jones. On the other hand with the contracts of LeBron, AD, and potentially another max contract, the Lakers will like have to load up on cheap young guys to keep under the salary cap, which opens the window for Perkins. Even if there isn’t a clear path to the Lakers roster for Perkins, summer league is his opportunity to impress other teams or earn a two-way contract with the Lakers.
The Scouting Report:
For Lakers fans looking for info on their newest summer league signee, Perkins is a versatile big man. He grew accustomed to playing the 5 in Buffalo so he is capable of playing a small ball 5 at the next level, however he likely projects primarily as a 4 in the NBA. Perkins has solid outside shooting touch, and has continually added finesse to his game. This year Perkins displayed more comfort using a couple of dribbles to get to the rim, and even converted a handful of step back jumpers. As a big man, Perkins is very capable in the post with his combination of strength and touch, and has continued to improve his face-up game.
His rare combination of strength and agility in a big man makes Perkins an intriguing switchable defensive prospect. Perkins has shown the ability to use his strength in the post as well as defend well in the pick and roll, with the agility to switch on to smaller perimeter players when necessary. Perkins has the tools to succeed in the NBA as a versatile big man in an era of increasingly positionless basketball.