Lakers Sign Former HS Prodigy Mac McClung

Mac McClung

The LA Lakers opened their doors for the young Mac McClung, a player who was once thought to take NBA upon being ready. 

Although McClung has officially signed into the team (alongside Chaundee Brown Jr.), the specifics of the transaction were not disclosed as per team policy. Nonetheless, many believe that it's most likely for Exhibition 10 deals.

For now, he is convincing himself to keep his feet on the ground and maintain the hard work. "I just got to stop and remind myself, I’m just a kid from Gate City playing with the Summer League team. So I’m just trying to make the most of it and get better every day," he quoted.

McClung's HS Career

McClung began dunking as a sophomore at Gate City High School, where he was a member of the varsity basketball team. Throughout the rest of his high school career, he developed a reputation as an acrobatic dunker. He soon earned the title "one of the nation's most exciting players," which was given to him by MaxPreps.

During his junior year, Mac set a career-best with 64 points in a defeat against Dan River High School at the Virginia High School League (VHSL) Region 2A West tournament on February 24, 2017. It was the school's highest-scoring year and the highest among Virginia public schools since 1984.

McClung made his senior debut on December 12th, scoring 47 points on 18-of-23 shooting in a 96–43 win against Lee High School, and by January of the following year, he had scored 44 points in the Arby's Classic tournament in Bristol, Tennessee, versus Fern Creek High School of Louisville, Kentucky.

McClung was decommitted from Rutgers on October 6, 2017, just before his senior year of high school. He committed to Georgetown a little more than a week later.

The stardom continued for him throughout his high school era through college.

Disappointing College Career

Despite a passable showing, it was a watered-down version of the HS McClung that we saw in college.

McClung led Georgetown to a 102–94 victory over Little Rock on December 22, 2018, with a freshman season-high 38 points. He led all Big East Conference freshmen in scoring as a freshman, averaging 13.4 points, 2.6 rebounds, and two assists per game. The All-Freshman Team of the Big East was named after McClung.

Due to the injury, McClung only appeared in 21 games as a sophomore, averaging 15.7 points, 2.4 assists, and 1.4 steals in 27 minutes per game. He declared for the 2020 NBA draft after the season and signed with an NCAA-certified agency to keep his collegiate eligibility. He joined the NCAA transfer portal on May 13 after withdrawing from the draft.

McClung announced his transfer to Texas Tech on May 27, 2020, after leaving Georgetown. By October 30, he was given a waiver for immediate eligibility. On November 25, McClung made his Texas Tech debut, scoring 20 points in a 101–58 triumph over Northwestern State.

In April 2021, McClung re-entered the collegiate transfer portal while also declaring for the NBA draft. Via Twitter in May 2021, he stated that he will stay in the draft and forfeit his remaining collegiate eligibility.

McClung's play style

He possesses a smooth shooting stroke that he can use in dribble-pull-ups or while going around screens and spotting up. 

During his three collegiate seasons, he was forced to make a lot of difficult pull-up jumpers, which might explain his low shooting percentages. In reality, his jumper looks a lot better and more consistent when he's spotting up, which might improve his NBA prospects because that's most likely the role he'll play early on.

McClung is a shooting guard trapped in a point guard's physique, despite his scoring prowess. Against the NBA's finest, his lack of size and strength will certainly be a disadvantage on both sides of the court. Due to his lack of positional diversity, he'll have a tougher time generating space for himself on attack, and his team will most likely have to conceal him on defense.

Afterall, McClung is most known for his internet highlight clips of him dunking, but he's shown to be more than just an athletic dynamo. McClung has shown some ball-handling skills and secondary playmaking, and despite his small stature, he has played effectively defensively.

What's next for McClung?

As of now, there's nothing much to watch out for from Mac. Except that McClung will be playing in the Summer League. This would definitely be a good chance for the basketball fans globally to see how this young man would perform with the bigger men on the court.

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