Mac McClung talks about Lakers opportunity, getting better this summer

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·2 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Months ago, Mac McClung was making his name as a star in the NBA’s G League. He averaged 21.6 points, 7.6 assists, 6.6 rebounds and 1.4 steals in 27 games, most of them coming with the South Bay Lakers, and he was named the G League Rookie of the Year.

A couple of weeks ago, he was rewarded with a two-way contract by the Los Angeles Lakers, and he made a cameo appearance in their final game, an exciting come-from-behind win over the Denver Nuggets.

It appears McClung is serious about earning a standard contract with the Lakers and working his way into their rotation.

Via Silver Screen and Roll:

“Just trying to stay the course,” McClung said of his offseason plan, “try to work on the things I need to get better at and see where this summer takes us.”

Although he scored just six points in the contest against the Nuggets, two came in spectacular fashion to seal the victory.

 

McClung is trying to move past being a viral star

In high school in his native Virginia, McClung became known for his exciting dunks, which made him a viral sensation on social media.

Although he stands a rather unremarkable 6-foot-2, he has a vertical leap of 43.5 inches, which is the seventh-highest vertical in the history of the NBA draft combine.

His highlight reel jams have overshadowed his actual skills and play, and McClung seems determined to evolve past that and become a player who is valued for making less spectacular plays.

Via Silver Screen and Roll:

“I think social media can be a distraction for a lot of people and in my life it has kind of been following me, good and bad,” McClung said. “I just worry about being the best version of myself each day and trying to grow each day in the right direction, and I’m appreciative of people who support me and people who don’t support me. So I kind of just say the course and focus on myself.”

The Lakers have had success finding and developing undrafted players such as McClung. Most notably, Alex Caruso and Austin Reaves come to mind.

With well-regarded player development coach Phil Handy still with the team, it can perhaps turn McClung into its latest underdog story.

1

1