Lakerholicz – Zach Norvell Jr.

Zach Norvell Jr.

NBA fans who follow the NBA Las Vegas Summer League might have been interested to see Zion Williamson play. They may also have seen the Zach Norvell Jr. news headlines after he landed a game winning three-pointer. A clutch player is an asset to any NBA team, so who does Zach Norvell Jr. play for? Zack Norvell Jr. is a 2019 addition to the LA Lakers roster.

The Lakers spent a great deal last year finalizing a trade to bring Anthony Davis to the Staples Center. With Anthony Davis and LeBron James on the roster, expectations are high. Unfortunately the salary cap is also high. As a result, the Lakers have had to be strategic with how they fill out their roster. A player like Zach Norvell Jr. is an excellent example of identifying potential that could develop and add competition for places in a playoff push.

Zach Norvell Jr has had an impressive high school and college career. His averages show a potential to make the step up to the NBA. He will more than likely spend the majority of the season with the South Bay Lakers. He’ll hope to emulate Alex Caruso by using the NBA G League to evolve his game.

Outside of Los Angeles Lakers’ arena the Staples Center during the day

For young players out of college, it is essential to take the opportunities that you get. At the Lakers, Zack Norvell Jr. put his hat in the ring with his performances in Las Vegas. Not only did he show that he can shoot from three, he also showed that he has the nerves of a clutch player. The Lakers coaching staff will be happy to know that they have more players on the roster who can put points on the board. James and Davis will no doubt be the focal point, but if they don’t have sufficient backup, they could be targeted by the opposition. Head coach Frank Vogel will know that he will need to have a few cards up his sleeve to break the Lakers playoff drought.

For Lakers fans who missed the NBA Las Vegas Summer League, Zack Norvell Jr. is a young and versatile shooting guard. By looking at his school and college career, we can gain further insight into what type of player he can become.

Early career

Zack Norvell Jr. was born in Chicago, Illinois on 9 December 1997. His father was a college basketball player as well as a coach at DuStable High School. Growing up, Zack Norvell Jr. played both basketball and baseball before focussing on basketball.

Zack Norvell Jr. attended high school at Simeon Career Academy in South Side, Chicago. After averaging over 12 points per game in his junior season, he would announce himself by scoring 53 points for Mac Irvin Fire in an AAU game. This game is effectively where Zack Norvell Jr.’s career took off.

Zack Norvell Jr playing for the Simeon Career Academy driving to the baseline with the basketball in his hands

By the time he was leaving high school, Zack Norvell Jr. had offers from Bradley, Iowa State, Florida State and Gonzaga. Ultimately, Zack Norvell Jr. committed to the Gonzaga Bulldogs for his college basketball.

Before starting at Gonzaga, Zack Norvell Jr. underwent knee surgery. As a result he redshirted part of his freshman season. Despite this, he would still average 12.7 points, 3.9 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.1 steals per game. This included his first career double-double when he scored 28 points and 12 rebounds against Ohio State. At the end of the season he was named the West Coast Conference Newcomer of the Year.

His sophomore season would see him continue to improve. In 2018-2019, he averaged 14.9 points, 4.3 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.3 steals per game. His form earned him a selection in the All-West Coast Conference First Team.

Zack Norvell Jr. was interested in declaring himself for the 2019 NBA Draft. He was subsequently invited to the 2019 NBA Draft Combine, before announcing that he would forego the rest of his college years and enter the draft.

Unfortunately, Zack Norvell Jr.’s NBA draft experience would see him go unselected. All was not lost though. Lakers news broke that Zack Norvell Jr. had signed a two-way contract with the LA Lakers on 1 July 2019.

Los Angeles Lakers

Zack Norvell Jr. proved throughout his college and high school career that he can put points on the board, especially from three. He also has the ability to get to the rim when needed. He will be hoping to improve his defensive skill-set this season under Frank Vogel. If he can manage that, he’ll go a long way to being included in the first team plans.

At the moment, he might struggle to get minutes in the shooting guard position. Danny Green, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Avery Bradley would all be ahead in the pecking order for Zack Norvell Jr.’s position of shooting guard. That’s not even including Alex Caruso. It could be difficult to find his way into the team.

Zack Norvell Jr.’s contract means that he will also play for the South Bay Lakers in the NBA G League. Norvell Jr. should try to follow Caruso’s lead when it comes to developing his game with the South Bay Lakers. Caruso has established himself as a first team player after being on a similar two-way contract. Should he get selected for the LA Lakers, Zack Norvell Jr. will need to make it count. His performances in the Las Vegas Summer League indicate that he would, given the chance.

With a young player like Zack Norvell Jr., Lakers fans will have patience. Scoring clutch baskets will endear him further. At 21, time is on Zack Norvell Jr.’s side. While he might not feature much on the Lakers schedule this season, he’ll need to use this time to grow his game. At the Lakers, Zack Norvell Jr. can learn from a roster full of world-class veterans. The Lakers are arguably the best school for a young player this season. Don’t expect a Zack Norvell Jr. trade request anytime soon. To find out more about Zack and the Lakers, follow the Lakerholicz website. With recent partnership with BetMGM, support us by visiting BetMGM for a seamless betting and gaming experience.

NBA stats

As he is yet to make his NBA debut, Zack Norvell Jr.’s stats are limited to the summer league performances. This summer, Zack Norvell Jr. averaged 12.9 points, 2.6 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 0.7 steals. He will be hoping to continue this form for both the South Bay and LA Lakers and this season.

An Orange basketball with arms and legs climbing up statistics bars from red to green.

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