A journey that began with an invite to Lakers training camp two years ago will continue for Travis Wear, who has inked a two-way contract with the Los Angeles and South Bay Lakers.
After a pair of strong G League seasons with South Bay, the Huntington Beach native was called up to the NBA Lakers in March and showed enough in a 17-game sample size to warrant another campaign with his lifelong favorite team.
A 6-foot-10, 230-pound power forward, Wear was brought up to L.A. primarily because of his ability to space the floor, and he did just that with his trademark 3-point shooting.
The 27-year-old hit 36.2 percent from beyond the arc (17-of-47), more than enough to force his man to abandon the paint and guard him out on the perimeter.
He was even better specifically on spot-up shots, shooting 13-of-34 and averaging 1.13 points per possession, placing him in the league’s 82nd percentile on such attempts (albeit in a small sample size).
The UCLA alum averaged 4.4 points and 2.2 rebounds in 13.4 minutes for the Lakers.
While he shot just 34.7 percent from the field, much of that had to do with his high volume of 3-pointers. He attempted only five shots in the paint and made just 6-of-21 from mid-range.
But the long-range shooting was never in question. The Lakers only had him attempt five shots off screens (per NBA.com), yet he made four of them. That could be something to further explore in the future.
Nice design by the Lakers, who have Brook Lopez set a screen for all four of his teammates on one play.
Double screen for Kuz distracts the defense while Travis Wear sneaks behind Lopez's pick for a wide open triple. pic.twitter.com/O7yP18Ocl4
— Joey Ramirez (@JoeyARamirez) March 25, 2018
Wear was also a surprisingly effective defender, both in one-on-one and help-side situations.
While he isn’t the type to lock up the opponent’s best scorer, he also isn’t one that can be easily exploited, as several teams discovered last year.
Here’s something I’m sure Spurs fans didn’t expect: Travis Wear put the locks on Rudy Gay.
— Joey Ramirez (@JoeyARamirez) March 4, 2018
On the South Bay side, the G League Lakers are thrilled to bring back a player who averaged 16.7 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 2.9 made 3-pointers on a 41.9 percent clip.
Last year was one of recognition for Wear, who was named a G League all-star and played for Team USA in the FIBA World Cup qualifiers, in addition to his NBA call-up.
With Wear and Alex Caruso returning to South Bay on two-way contracts, there is certainly value in the Lakers bolstering their G League team with talent and continuity.
Maintaining a competitive affiliate is crucial when it comes to player development, particularly with the Lakers’ success assigning young players to get reps (like Josh Hart and Ivica Zubac) and calling up G Leaguers who can make an impact in the NBA (such as Wear, Andre Ingram and David Nwaba).
Plus, bringing Wear back into the fold will certainly boost South Bay’s chances of repeating last year’s trip to the G League conference finals, and perhaps beyond.
— South Bay Lakers (@SouthBayLakers) March 2, 2018