Travis Wear made enough of an impact on the Los Angeles Lakers that the team decided to keep the call-up on their roster for the rest of the season, signing him to a deal to finish out the year after his second 10-day contract expired.
Wear made a clear case for such a move with his play, as the G League veteran is averaging 5.4 points and 2.2 rebounds while shooting a team-high 40.5 percent from 3-point range over his 11 games in the NBA this season.
After the Lakers’ win over the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday night, Wear made it clear at least some of his success can be credited to how easy rookie point guard Lonzo Ball makes the game on his teammates, via Spectrum SportsNet:
“It’s been great (playing with Lonzo). I mean, he gets in the lane and he gets separation, he drives and kicks. Every time he passes me the ball, I’m looking to shoot. He’s so unselfish. It’s contagious.”
Wear feels the same way about rejoining Kyle Kuzma after playing with both he and Ball in the Las Vegas Summer League:
“The comfort level is there. Watching Kuzma excel this year and be so aggressive, hitting big shots, I have a comfort level playing with Lonzo and Kuz after being in there Summer League, their first professional games really. The comfort level is there for me and I know what to expect from them.”
Wear’s familiarity with how both Ball and Kuzma play, as well as with the Lakers’ playbook, is probably in large part responsible not only for his success with the team, but also why the front office felt comfortable calling Wear up.
As long as the G League (and previously the D-League) have existed, there have been players to put up big numbers on affiliates and then fail to make an impact when called upon at the NBA level.
Due to Wear knowing some of the Lakers’ actions and having chemistry with Ball and Kuzma because of their time suiting up together in Las Vegas, the front office might have had more faith that Wear could avoid that type of pitfall.
Whatever their reasoning, the signing has certainly worked out for the team, and it will be interesting to see if Los Angeles decides to keep Wear around next year should they have to sacrifice frontcourt depth while pursuing stars in free agency.
If they need a floor-spacing four, Wear has shown with his play that there are worse options.