The Los Angeles Lakers agreed to a buyout with veteran forward Corey Brewer this week, doing so before the deadline to allow him to be eligible for the playoffs. Even though Brewer hadn’t played in two of the last three games, the move still came as something of a surprise.
Brewer had been part of the rotation throughout most of the season, though his minutes were inconsistent. With his constant energy and defensive versatility, Brewer brought a lot to the Lakers and often times has changed the momentum of games.
Nonetheless, Brewer now has a chance to join a playoff team and according to Tania Ganguli of the L.A. Times, sought change because of a desire to prove that he can still produce at a high level:
“I just want to play basketball,” Brewer told The Times while boarding his flight to Los Angeles. “It’s tough not to be playing. I know I can still play. It’s just we’re a young team — they’re a young team — and they’re all about going young right now. I just want to have a chance to play, have an opportunity to play, now I have an opportunity to play. Maybe help a playoff team make a run.”
Brewer also added that he had no issues being a mentor for the young Lakers, but wants to be somewhere that he can be a regular part of the rotation:
“I did what I had to do,” Brewer said. “I helped the guys as much as I could. I didn’t mind being a mentor. There’s a lot of good guys. When you can still play you want to be in a situation where you’re playing.”
Brewer was an excellent mentor and locker room presence for the Lakers and was well respected by his young teammates. However, he obviously was frustrated by a lack of minutes and now he will get the opportunity to get that playing time on a playoff team.
The Lakers, while focused on winning, also want to open up as many opportunities for their young players, and do right by the veterans who helped and sacrificed for them. Just as they did with Andrew Bogut, the Lakers are also giving Brewer that same chance to shine on a bigger stage.
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