NBA Rumor: Vander Blue Free Agency

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Blue’s seven-year professional career has spanned eight G League teams, four countries, more than 400 teammates and just 10 NBA games. If he has learned anything, it’s that a couple of missed shots can be the difference between a million-dollar contract and the $35,000 deal he signed with Santa Cruz. “On a day like today, we don’t have a shootaround, but I’m just trying to get a rhythm,” Blue said. “I know it’s going to reward me. In this business, you can be at the bottom of the world one day and at the top the next.”

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He believes he’s as daunting a matchup as he was that night 4½ years ago when he posted 15 points, eight assists and seven rebounds while playing the full 48 minutes of the Lakers’ regular-season finale against the Kings. His struggle for an NBA home is as much a reflection of modern team-building priorities as it is his own unexpected setbacks, from depression to a freak accident involving a fog machine. “It’s all about opportunity,” Santa Cruz general manager Ryan Atkinson said. “Vander is someone who, like a lot of guys, is talented enough to be in the NBA. But unfortunately for him, situations happened that haven’t allowed him to stick.”

The Lakers waived guard Vander Blue on Friday. Blue, 25, appeared in five games with the Lakers while on a two-way contract that allowed him to split his time between the Lakers and their Gatorade League affiliate, the South Bay Lakers. Blue was the development league’s MVP in 2016-17. The Lakers currently have 15 players under contract, with room to sign one player to their standard roster and, without Blue, room for one two-way addition. Teams have until Jan. 15 to sign players to two-way contracts, and the Lakers are expected to fill Blue’s slot by then.

The Los Angeles Lakers have signed guard Vander Blue, it was announced today by General Manager Rob Pelinka. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not released. Blue most recently competed for the South Bay Lakers of the NBA G League, where he averaged 24.8 points, 5.1 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.6 steals last season before being named 2017 NBA G League Most Valuable Player. He has averaged 23.5 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.8 assists through four seasons in the G League and stands as South Bay’s all-time leader in points, field goals made and free throws made.
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