At last season’s trade deadline, the Los Angeles Lakers swung an important trade, sending talented guard Lou Williams to the Houston Rockets in exchange for the 28th pick in the NBA Draft and veteran swingman Corey Brewer. While most saw the deal as a move to land another first-round draft selection, Brewer also gives them an option on the wing, which has been a position of need.
At 31 years old, Brewer may no longer have the same upside that the team’s younger players do, but he can still be a solid contributor on the floor and fill a valuable role as a veteran mentor off of it. Kevin Brockway of Gainesville.com caught up with Brewer in Florida for his annual camp, where he starred for the Gators during his college days. He reflected on the trade that sent him from Houston to Los Angeles:
“I was surprised, but you know, it’s a business, it’s the NBA,” Brewer said. “I’ve been traded a few times, so it wasn’t anything new. Adjustment was a little different because I went from, we were the second or third seed in Houston to being on the second to last team in the NBA.”
Despite making such a big transition mid-season, Brewer conducted himself as a professional and embraced the role that the Lakers asked him to play. He sees the young talent that the team possesses and believes that better days lie ahead:
“We’ve got Lonzo Ball, some good young talent coming in so we should have a better year,” Brewer said. “The future is going to be bright. Magic is great, he’s doing a good job and Rob Pelinka, who has come in and took over as the GM, they’re both doing a great job and they are getting the pieces they want.”
Brewer’s contract expires at the end of the 2017-2018 season, and he will have to fight Brandon Ingram, Luol Deng, Jordan Clarkson, and Josh Hart for wing minutes off the bench. He will be on a mission to prove that he deserves another contract in the league.
The Lakers are going to be a fun team to watch this season with Ball running the show, and in theory, a slasher like Brewer who runs the floor well could thrive. Head coach Luke Walton has put players in position to succeed, so it will be on Brewer to step up and produce next season.