The 2017 NBA Draft ended with the Los Angeles Lakers selecting four new players to bring in to the team. Their work wasn’t done, however, as they still need to find players for their summer league roster and potentially training camp.
Immediately after the draft, the best players who weren’t drafted begin negotiating with teams and the Lakers agreed to a deal with South Carolina wing P.J. Dozier, according to Chris B. Haynes of ESPN:
Undrafted rookie P.J. Dozier out of South Carolina has agreed to a free-agent deal with the Los Angeles Lakers, league sources tell ESPN.
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) June 23, 2017
Dozier was one of the best undrafted players left and addresses one of the Lakers’ most pressing needs, defense. At 6’7 and 201 pounds with a 6’11 wingspan Dozier has the tools to defend multiple positions at the NBA level.
He is a very good athlete who excels at attacking the basket and has a number of ways to score at the rim. He also has flashed some decent point guard skills, showing good court vision, decent ball-handling, and solid passing.
He will need to improve his shooting and while he has the framework of a versatile combo guard, his offensive skills must be developed for him to be effective at the next level.
At the very least Dozier should be able to hound players defensively from day one which is something the Lakers have said they are looking for. Dozier will have the opportunity to prove himself and earn a spot on the Lakers roster, he will simply have to take advantage of it.
In his sophomore season, Dozier averaged 13.9 points, 4.8 rebounds, 2.8 assists, and 1.7 steals in helping lead South Carolina to a Final Four appearance.