The Los Angeles Lakers have signed free agent forward Ryan Kelly, it was announced today by General Manager Mitch Kupchak.
“When we extended a qualifying offer to Ryan in June, we fully expected him to be a part of our future,” said Kupchak. “Ryan did everything we asked of him as a rookie and showed great promise and potential. After rehabbing an injury last summer, he will have the benefit of a full offseason regimen and training camp for the first time in his NBA career, and we anticipate further development as a result.”
In 2013-14, his rookie NBA season, Kelly averaged 8.0 points, 3.7 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 0.8 blocks in 22.2 minutes per game, and started 25 contests while appearing in 59 total games. The 23-year-old Kelly scored 20+ points on three occasions last season, including a career-high 26 on February 5th at Cleveland and became just the third Laker rookie in the last 20 years (Kobe Bryant and Eddie Jones) to score 17+ points in consecutive games when he did so 1/17 at BOS and 1/19 at TOR.
In five games while on assignment with the Los Angeles D-Fenders of the NBA D-League, Kelly averaged 25.2 points, 7.6 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 1.6 steals and 1.4 blocks in 39.6 minutes.
The 6’11’’ forward was selected by the Lakers in the second round (48th overall pick) in the 2013 NBA draft. The former McDonald’s All-American, who earned a 2010 NCAA Championship as well as two ACC Championships with Duke, played all four seasons for the Blue Devils, where he averaged 7.5 points and 3.7 rebounds while shooting 46% from the field. As a senior, Kelly was named ACC Player of the Week twice and earned honorable mention All-ACC honors despite missing 13 games due to injury. Kelly finished his final season with the Blue Devils averaging 12.9 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 1.6 blocked shots in 28.9 minutes per game.