The Los Angeles Lakers have agreed to a one-year, $4.5 million deal with free-agent forward Taurean Prince, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. Prince, the No. 12 overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, spent the last two seasons with the Minnesota Timberwolves after beginning his career with the Atlanta Hawks and spending time with the Brooklyn Nets and Cleveland Cavaliers. Prince had a $7.4 million non-guaranteed deal with Minnesota for this season that the Timberwolves ultimately elected to waive, making him a free agent and eligible to sign with Los Angeles.
Prince is a traditional 3-and-D forward whose skill set leans towards the "3" side of that equation. He made 38.1% of his long-range shots a season ago and has his 37.2% for his career. He's never played with a playmaker like LeBron James, so this should create an opportunity for him to take some of the cleanest looks of his career. While not an elite defender for his position, Prince is sturdy and has good size and mobility for his position. He should slot in as a high-minutes reserve, or, depending on how the rest of the offseason goes for the Lakers, potentially a starter.
The Lakers used their bi-annual exception to sign Prince. That means that they still have their entire $12.4 million non-taxpayer mid-level exception available to chase bigger names. They will also be able to retain their Bird Rights on key free agents Rui Hachimura, Austin Reaves and D'Angelo Russell, allowing them to run most of last year's team back but with improvements on the margins.
The Lakers are coming off of a Western Conference finals appearance, but with James set to turn 39 this season, they needed to maintain depth around him to keep him healthy in the playoffs. Prince should do just that and fit in extremely well with the Lakers.