Free agent profile: Pooh Jeter
This is the 38th post in a series of free-agent profiles that analyzes particular players and how they might fit in with the Lakers.
Sacramento Kings guard Pooh Jeter
Type of free agent: Unrestricted
Positives: Jeter finished his rookie season with the Kings averaging 4.1 points and 2.6 assists in 62 games, displaying quickness, solid floor-general instincts and a professional attitude. He's nowhere near being able to take the Lakers' starting point guard position. After seeing him play this summer in the Drew League, however, I could see him providing the qualities the Lakers want in upgrading that spot.
His speed, youth (27) and ability to run the pick-and-roll give him an advantage over Derek Fisher and Steve Blake in pushing the tempo. His high energy would help infuse life in the Lakers' aging reserves. His history of playing five years in Europe would give him the hunger to make the most of that opportunity.
Negatives: At 5 feet 11 and 175 pounds, he is too small to defend talented point guards and to drive into the lane. His shooting from the field (40.9%) and from three-point range (20%) hardly inspires confidence that he could address the Lakers' need to improve their outside shooting. He also lacks experience, so any positive glimpses he has shown with the Kings really make it hard to gauge how that would translate with a more talented team with presumably fewer opportunities.
Verdict: There are a few signs suggesting Jeter won't play in the NBA. The Kings didn't pick up their team option. They drafted Brigham Young's Jimmer Fredette and Washington's Isaiah Thomas. Jeter also told The Sacramento Bee's Jason Jones that he's looking to play again in Europe, something he has done for the last five seasons.
It's obviously telling that the Kings decided to part ways with him. But that speaks more to their opportunity to acquire Fredette and Thomas than Jeter's potential. It's uncertain whether Jeter would even be available because he'd probably take offers overseas before the NBA reaches a new collective bargaining agreement. If he is, however, Jeter would serve as a good candidate who could add speed and youth at a pretty cheap price.
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