Taurean Prince expresses desire to ‘100 percent’ remain with the Lakers

Jesse Cinquini
3 Min Read
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Lakers forward Taurean Prince — who is set to hit unrestricted free agency this summer — has made it clear that he desires to remain a member of the iconic franchise.

“To stay here would be definitely No. 1,” Prince said regarding his upcoming free agency. “If not that then, I mean, wherever the dominoes fall and wherever it’s best, then that’s where I’ll be. But I for sure want to be a Laker — 100 percent.”

The Lakers mark the fifth team that Prince has played for since he began his NBA career in the 2016-17 season. Across his eight seasons in the league, Prince has also suited up for the Atlanta Hawks, Minnesota Timberwolves, Brooklyn Nets and Cleveland Cavaliers.

Prince’s stint with the Lakers was allegedly in jeopardy of coming to an end prior to the 2024 trade deadline, as the team was reportedly considering trading him, but Darvin Ham — who is now without a job — voiced his desire to keep the 30-year-old around.

The forward started the majority of games he played in during his first season with the Lakers, as he racked up 49 starts in the 2023-24 regular season across 78 total appearances.

But Prince’s minutes dipped quite a bit after the All-Star break. Prior to the break, he averaged 30.1 minutes per game, but in 25 games following the All-Star festivities, that number dropped to just 20.6 minutes per game.

Fast forward to the Lakers’ playoff series versus the Denver Nuggets in the opening round of the 2024 NBA Playoffs, and Prince didn’t start a single one of the five games of series. He averaged 7.4 points and 2.4 rebounds in 22.2 minutes per contest off the Los Angeles bench.

Prince saved arguably his worst offensive performance of the 2024 NBA Playoffs for the last game of the first-round series. In Game 5, the former Baylor University standout missed all five of his shots from the floor — three of which came from 3-point range — as the Lakers lost by a mere two points.

Seeing as how Prince has the ability to make life difficult for wings with his defensive chops while also possessing a solid 3-point shot (he shot 39.6 percent from deep on 4.6 attempts per contest this season), Lakers fans shouldn’t be surprised if several teams express interest in him when free agency rolls around.

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Jesse is a sports journalist with extensive experience covering the NBA. He has worked as a staff writer covering the Lakers’ dreaded rivals, the Boston Celtics, for SB Nation. He has also covered the New York Knicks for The Knicks Wall.