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Free-agent profile: Ronnie Brewer

July 20, 2012
  • Former Bulls guard Ronnie Brewer, left, is well-known for his aggressive defense.
Former Bulls guard Ronnie Brewer, left, is well-known for his aggressive… (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles…)

This is the 13th post in a series focusing on this year's free-agent class.

Player: Ronnie Brewer

Former team: Chicago Bulls

Type of free agent: Unrestricted

Positives: The Lakers may have taken care of their point-guard needs by acquiring Steve Nash. But the Lakers still have one glaring weakness. They lack someone who can consistently defend in the backcourt. Both Nash and Steve Blake are sub-par defenders, while Kobe Bryant needs to conserve his energy to score. That's where Brewer comes into the picture.

He has quick feet. Brewer's 10th-place ranking among shooting guards last season in steals (1.09) reflects his strength in spacing and playing off the passing lanes. His 6-foot-7 frame gives him a huge height advantage at shooting guard both in defending and in crashing the glass (averaged 3.5 rebounds per game).

Negatives: Even if he's a career 50.1% shooter, there's several areas that lead to inconsistent stretches. Brewer's form entails his elbow flying out to the side, while he shoots the ball from under his chin. Brewer also lacks a midrange game from both shots within 10-15 feet (35%) and shots within 16-23 feet (33%), according to Hoopdata.com. Though he remains an effective off-ball cutter and finisher at the rim, the Lakers will struggle without having a role player who can hit outside shots. Most of the time, those will only be the shots available off of double teams.

Verdict: Any interest in him really depends on his market value. The Chicago Bulls waived Brewer's $4.37-million team option for 2012-13, and the New York Knicks are reportedly interested in his services after the Jeremy Lin departure. Brewer would be a good signing for the veteran's minimum because, warts and all, he still fills a specific need the Lakers want to address. But he's not worth a high investment.

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