Cole Swider has thrived in early Summer League games, shining in the California Classic after signing with the Los Angeles Lakers as an undrafted free agent.
Swider started in both California Classic wins, clocking in 19.6 minutes per night as the Lakers beat the Miami Heat and Golden State Warriors. He averaged 14.5 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.0 blocks, shooting a stunning 61.5% from deep.
Swider repays the trust L.A. has put in the 23-year-old. The Lakers offered the former Syracuse sharpshooter one of their two two-way spots on the roster after he went undrafted in late June.
And it seems Swider is part of the franchise’s long-term plans. L.A. Times reporter Dan Woike claims the 6-foot-9 forward has signed a two-year deal with the Purple and Gold:
Reported this yesterday, but sources tell me Cole Swider’s two-way deal is for two years.
— Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) July 1, 2022
Two-way players oftentimes don’t even stay with a team for the duration of the contract — usually covering a 12-month period — which proved to be the case for Chaundee Brown Jr. and Sekou Doumbouya during their short stints with the Lakers last season.
L.A. showed serious interest in Swider ahead of the 2022 NBA Draft, hosting the Syracuse sharpshooter for two pre-draft workouts. Vice president of basketball operations and general manager Rob Pelinka later said he believed the forward “has a chance to become an elite shooter.”
Swider says he’s more than catch-and-shoot player
During his college career, Swider proved to be a serious threat in catch-and-shoot situations. However, the forward hopes to prove during this year’s Summer League he can also create his own shots.
“More and more comfortable I get out there, the more and more game experience I get, I think the better I’ll be able to show those aspects of my game,” Swider said after his Lakers debut in the 100-66 win over the Heat.
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