Lakers sign Scotty Pippen Jr. of Vanderbilt to two-way contract

After taking Michigan State University guard Max Christie with the 35th pick in Thursday’s NBA draft, the Los Angeles Lakers turned their attention to the undrafted rookie free agent market.

One of the undrafted rookies they signed was Scotty Pippen Jr., a guard out of Vanderbilt University.

He is the son of Scottie Pippen, who is an NBA Hall of Famer and was one of the league’s best and most versatile players in the 1990s.

The elder Pippen teamed up with Michael Jordan to help the Chicago Bulls win six championships in eight years. He then moved on to the Portland Trail Blazers in 1999 and became a thorn in the Lakers’ side.

The younger Pippen isn’t quite the same type of athletic specimen his father was, but he has some qualities that give him some potential moving forward.

Like father, like son?

The elder Pippen was an interesting success story. He was a walk-on as a college freshman at the University of Central Arkansas, and he sprouted from 6-foot-1 to 6-foot-8 in a short amount of time.

The younger Pippen played his high school ball at Sierra Canyon School, a private school in the San Fernando Valley. There, he played alongside Kenyon Martin Jr., the son of former NBA player Kenyon Martin, who now plays for the Houston Rockets.

Of course, Sierra Canyon is where Bronny James, the son of LeBron James, currently goes to school as a member of the high school class of 2023.

Pippen ended up becoming a four-star recruit, and he received scholarship offers to five schools, but ultimately decided on Vanderbilt.

Unlike his father, Pippen didn’t experience a late growth spurt, and he stands at about 6-foot-2, but he still managed to put up nice stats in three years with the Commodores.

This season, he recorded 20.4 points, 4.5 assists and 1.9 steals per game while playing for head coach Jerry Stackhouse, the former NBA player.

Pippen is not an efficient offensive player (he shot just 41.6 percent from the field and 32.5 percent from 3-point range this year), but one of his main assets may be his defense.

He has the ability to get steals and force turnovers, and he has good defensive instincts, although he does need refining on that end of the floor.

Pippen may not be an outstanding passer, but he can hit the open man often enough when the opportunity presents itself.

Offensively, he appears to have the ability to hit outside shots, especially off the dribble, so perhaps he can improve his accuracy over time.

He has a set of pump fakes and other related moves he can use to score from the mid-range area as well.

An impressive aspect of Pippen’s game is his ability to draw fouls. He averaged 8.3 free throw attempts this season, which was the most in the NCAA, and although he shot just 74.9 percent from the charity stripe, it’s an ability that cannot really be taught.

As is the case in college football, the SEC is one of the best conferences in college basketball, which makes what Pippen has done more significant.

He is a two-time All-SEC First Team selection, and he led the conference in scoring this year.

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