After serving as an extra body during the Lakers’ three full-fledged practices this week, the Lakers reassigned rookie forward Ryan Kelly to the D-Fenders, the organization’s Development League affiliate.
The move both coincides with the Lakers playing Friday in Sacramento, while the D-Fenders play the same day at Bakersfield.
Under the NBA’s recent collective bargaining agreement, NBA teams can send players to their Development League affiliates as often as they’d like. Considering he has made two appearances with the Lakers through a total of seven minutes, Kelly will have more opportunity developing his game in D-Fenders games.
Kelly, whom the Lakers drafted 48th overall this year from Duke, averaged 25 points, eight rebounds, 3.7 assists and 2.3 steals in 38.5 minutes through three games with the D-Fenders. That included posting a career-high 30 points in the D-Fenders’ 131-96 victory Monday over the Bakersfield Jam.
Kelly is slated to earn $490,180, though that salary only becomes guaranteed if he stays on the Lakers’ roster past Jan. 10. Despite his limited role, the Lakers like Kelly because he fits Mike D’Antoni’s ideal description for the so-called “stretch four position,” including hitting outside shots and improving floor spacing.
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