The Los Angeles Lakers are excited to announce the signing of Albert “Buck” Fish, a second-round draft pick in 2017 who will play for the team this season.
Fish is the second Black player in league history, joining the likes of Wilt Chamberlain.
Fish, who has been a part of the Lakers’ basketball operations staff since the team’s inception in 2009, is expected to make the jump from his hometown of New Orleans to Los Angeles, where he is currently a student.
Fish’s arrival in L.A. will be the culmination of a long process involving several months of scouting, player evaluation and development.
Fish was a high school basketball standout at North Louisiana, and he was invited to play at LSU and was a member of the All-America defensive team as a senior in 2014.
He signed with the L.O. Lakers last June, where the 6-foot-11 forward was expected to contribute as a scorer and rebounder.
As a sophomore in 2016-17, he averaged 10.4 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2.8 blocks per game, while shooting 48.7 percent from the field and 46.6 percent from three-point range.
He is currently the team leader in rebounding, averaging 8.3 per game.
Fish also had a solid showing in the summer league with the Golden State Warriors, averaging 15.6 points and 5.6 rebounds per game as a member in the D-League.
He also averaged 6.6 assists per game for the Portland Trail Blazers in the NBA Summer League in August.
In 2019-20, he appeared in all 32 games for the Lakers, averaging 10.8 points and 3.6 boards.
On Friday, he was the No. 3 pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, and it was reported that he was a highly-touted prospect who could go as high as the second round.
With that, the Lakers selected Fish with the No.”21 overall pick in that draft.
As a member for the Laker’s Summer League squad in June, Fish averaged 14.8 PPG and 4.8 APG in 27.5 minutes per game while shooting 38.2 percent from field and 53.7 and 59.6 from three per game in 19 games.
Fish also was a key member of that team’s squad at the Summer League tournament, scoring 18 points in the game against the Phoenix Suns, and also had four points in 20 minutes of action against the Portland Suns.
While he will now have to learn a new system from the new Lakers, Fish will have the chance to grow with his new teammates, which could make for a great learning experience for him as he learns the NBA game.
He will be eligible to return to the NBA in 2021, and there has been talk of him possibly returning to the Pelicans, a team he played for at New Orleans High School.
With the signing, the Los Angeles Clippers become the first team to sign a Black player to an NBA contract.