During the off-season, the Los Angeles Lakers turned a lot of heads around the league by acquiring Steve Nash and Dwight Howard with blockbuster trades. The deals to bring in both superstars were impressive to say the least with the team only giving up one big-name in the process with Andrew Bynum being sent to the Philadelphia 76ers in the four-team trade for Howard.
Along with pulling the triggers on consecutive blockbuster trades or “home run” deals, the Lakers’ front office also made some moves in free agency by retaining Jordan Hill and bringing in Jodie Meeks and Antawn Jamison. The moves were made to help bolster the bench, but so far it appears that only Meeks has made an impact off the bench with Jamison rarely seeing the floor.
After 29 games with the Lakers, Meeks is averaging 8.3 points while shooting 37 percent from beyond the arc. Although Meeks’ shooting percentage (38.5 percent) could be higher, the 25-year-old is starting to come around with more time on the floor.
With the Lakers playing Meeks’ old team on Tuesday, the former 76er was asked if he had any hard feeling towards his former team with Philadelphia having no intention on re-signing him. Meeks said the following via John N. Mitchell of Philly.com:
“No, not at all,” said Meeks, who signed a two-year, $3 million deal to be a backup with the Lakers. “I liked everything about Philadelphia. It was a good organization. I liked Coach [Doug] Collins and still do to this day. He gave me the chance to start in the NBA and I loved playing for him. . . . But they made a business decision and it was time to move on.”
With head coach Mike D’Antoni using Meeks much more than Mike Brown did at the beginning of the season, the former Kentucky product is playing a big role for this team moving forward. Meeks’ three-point shooting ability has been huge for this squad as a of late and will continue to be a vital piece to the puzzle for the Lakers if the four-year guard can shoot consistently well from outside.
Obviously, Meeks wasn’t all that hurt by the lack of interest with the Lakers targeting him early in the off-season. Whether or not Meeks ultimately turns out to be a success in Los Angeles remains to be seen, but he appears to be doing well in his role off the bench and will continue to average around 19 to 20 minutes per game under D’Antoni.