The Los Angeles Lakers announced they have officially waived wing Alfonzo McKinnie. Last season, McKinnie appeared in 39 games for the Lakers, averaging 3.1 points and 1.4 rebounds while shooting 51.6% from the field and 41% from 3-point range.
McKinnie, who was acquired last offseason in a deal that sent JaVale McGee to the Cleveland Cavaliers, was on a non-guaranteed contract. As such, his release will have no financial impact on the Lakers and he will immediately become an unrestricted free agent.
For much of the season, McKinnie’s minutes with the Lakers were limited, but due to injuries he had multiple opportunities to make an impact and he took advantage more often than not.
His best game likely came in the Lakers’ blowout win over the Brooklyn Nets where he contributed 10 points, nine rebounds and four assists. He also played a big role in the Lakers’ epic near comeback against the Boston Celtics with 10 points and added another double-digit outing late in the season against the Houston Rockets where he contributed 10 points and five rebounds in a close victory.
This summer, the Lakers made a number of additions to their wing rotation. In addition to re-signing Talen Horton-Tucker, the team also added Malik Monk, Kendrick Nunn, Wayne Ellington, Kent Bazemore, Trevor Ariza and Carmelo Anthony, ultimately making McKinnie expendable.
Even still, McKinnie remains a solid 3-and-D wing option for teams looking to make that kind of addition. While not the greatest shooter, McKinnie makes up for it with his athleticism and relentlessness on the floor. He was great at attacking the boards, particularly the offensive glass.
By releasing him now, there is still time for McKinnie to come to terms with a team on at least a training camp deal. A wing in the prime of his career with playoff experience, McKinnie should be able to catch on somewhere in the league before the next season starts.
Lakers have three roster spots remaining
After waiving McKinnie, the Lakers now have three remaining roster spots, all of which will be filled by veteran minimum deals unless they either re-sign Dennis Schroder or sign-and-trade him for other players.
Regardless though, the Lakers’ roster has already taken shape and it should be much-improved from last season.
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