It has been reported recently that the Minnesota Timberwolves are expected to trade Kevin Love late in the month of August. Although the Golden State Warriors still remain in talks with the Wolves, it is very doubtful that Love will come to the Bay Area.
Head Coach Steve Kerr and General Manager Bob Myers envisioned a starting lineup with a stretch four starting in the front court next to Andrew Bogut (via ibabuzz). With the Warriors expecting to miss out on the Love sweepstakes, they have to settle with what they have on their roster.
In recent interviews, Kerr has stated that he foresees David Lee to be in the starting lineup. He would love to have a big man with perimeter shooting ability, but he still sees value in what Lee can do on the offensive end.
Lee is primarily known for his slashing ability and interior scoring. In his career in Golden State, he has put up consistent numbers in terms of points and field goal percentage (averaging 18+ points per game while shooting above 50% in the past three seasons). He is great at what he does. However, it may be time that Lee adds another weapon to his artillery. With everyone’s desire of having a big man who can stretch the floor with shooting, Lee should step up and improve on his outside shot.
We have seen a plethora of players who have improved on their shooting during their career (for example: Tony Parker, LeBron James, and Jason Kidd). Even Love came into the league as a non-threat on the perimeter; he converted just 10.5 % of his three pointers during his rookie season. Now, Love is considered a top shooter in the league.
With that being said, Lee’s outside shooting is far from stellar, and it needs a ton of work. In his career, he has made one three pointer — just one lonely bucket from outside compared to the 25 that he missed. His outside touch is pretty much non-existent. Lee also seems to be losing his shooting touch in general. Last season, his shooting percentage declined from 42.1% (2012-13 season) to 34.1% on jump shots from 15 to 18 feet out.
Mentioning Lee’s horrible shooting percentages is not meant to be stated in a pessimistic ways. There are always opportunities to improve on any facet in the NBA, especially with the help from their coaches. Improving on this particular skill is easier said than done; it is definitely long-term project and cannot be achieved in one offseason.
In the 2012 offseason, Lee stated that he was working on his three-point shooting. He is well aware that the front office wants a stretch-four, and he has been working on it for quite a while. Shooting is all about repetition, consistency, and confidence. With his strong work ethic and devotion to the game, Lee will push himself into becoming a better player.
Becoming a shooter is not impossible. Lee will probably never come close to a great shooter like his teammates Stephen Curry or Klay Thompson. Nonetheless if he can manage to knock down open looks from outside, that will be enough to please Kerr and Myers.