Big Future For Lakers & Team Canada’s Hopes
For years Vancouver has been labelled as “Hollywood North”, with a variety of made for TV movies, full length TV series and big screen blockbusters filmed throughout the streets of the Lower Mainland and surrounding areas.
This NBA season it appears as though two “Vancouverites”, (ok, one from Victoria) have flipped the script and are trying to make Hollywood into “Vancouverlite”.
While the addition of Steve Nash totally engulfs the drafting of big man Rob Sacre, at the end of the day, their success, directly or indirectly, will fall on each other.
The LA Lakers added 6″11″ phenom Dwight Howard to their lineup as part of a four team mega deal in the summer.
Unfortunately for fans of the purple and gold, he has been predicted to be on the sideline when the season starts in October. While it doesn’t necessarily mean a starting role for the former Gonzaga Bulldog, the need for depth may be increased as a precaution for future injury.
At 7’0″, 265lbs, Sacre will help solidify a frontcourt core of Howard, Pau Gasol, and Jordan Hill.
As the final overall pick in the 2012 NBA draft, Rob Sacre needed to prove to not only the Lakers, but the basketball world that he is worthy of a place in the NBA.
Taking in the Las Vegas Summer League, the Vancouver native showed his worth by averaging 9.0 points, 6.2 rebounds and 1 block in about 30 minutes of floor time, which led to the Lakers offering him a non-guaranteed contract (which could turn into a two year deal).
While Sacre will never be the offensive threat that Howard and Gasol are, he does provide the team with a big man that has the ability to hit his free throws (unlike D12) and runs the floor well for transition baskets.
As a mobile and agile big man, Sacre will be able to match up against both Howard and Gasol in practice.
Spending four years at Gonzaga, Big Rob comes to Hollywood with the knowledge and experience playing in the big games in front of big crowds as part of the Bulldogs appearances in March Madness.
The one major asset that Sacre has going for him off the court is that his potential point guard teammate is the general manager of the Canadian National Basketball Team.
In a “scratch your back / scratch my back” type world, Nash convincing the Lakers brass to keep Sacre can only help develop the Canadian big man to a higher level.
The return would be a more well polished paint presence for Team Canada, one that is searching for an Olympic bid in 2016.
Competing daily against Howard, Gasol and Hill would be on a higher level than Sacre would meet in any international pro atmosphere.
Posting nearly 10 points and 6 rebounds a game in Summer League does not quite make a superstar, however there are also “superstars” who struggle in Summer League and turn out to just need to be in the NBA environment.
IF Sacre can provide similar stats, or even half of that (considering he won’t get 30 minutes of floor time in a regular season game), the Lakers may have someone similar to a mix of Ronny Turiaf and Joakim Noah.
While neither of the three have a dominant skill set, their desire, energy and work ethic are matched by few big men in the league.
The old coaches saying goes, that while you can teach talent, you can’t teach heart and Rob Sacre proved to the supporters, teammates and coaches at Gonzaga that he is full of heart, now if only the Lakers can reciprocate the love.