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When it comes to NBA free agency, Shane Larkin provided a perfect description of just how much weight LeBon James carries.
In an interesting interview with Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype, Larkin, himself a free agent point guard in search of a team, explained what it’s like to be on the open market.
“It’s kind of hectic because things can change in an instant,” he said. “When there’s a free agent like LeBron James, who’s the best player in our league, he can literally call any team and say, ‘Hey, clear space. I want to sign with you,’ and that team is going to do whatever they have to do to in order to land him. It’s always interesting to watch what the stars do, like seeing LeBron go to the Lakers, and there’s definitely a domino effect.”
It’s not the same for Larkin, nor any other player in the league, though.
“The pieces have to fall into place for me to get my deal.,” he said. “The way I look at it is that there are these tiers – from LeBron James to Paul George and Kawhi Leonard and so on. Everyone follows along to see what the top guys do, I watch to see where the big dominoes will fall.
“Then, after they’re off the board, teams start putting their roster together with the guys who are remaining.”
The 5-foot-11, 175-pound Larkin averaged 10.7 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 14.4 minutes in 54 gams (2 starts) for the Boston Celtics last season, shooting 38.4 percent from the field, 36.0 percent from the 3-point arc and 86.5 percent from the free-throw line.
He was part of a stacked backcourt that included Kyrie Irving, Terry Rozier and Marcus Smart. In his his two starts, Larkin played well, averaging 10.5 points, 7.0 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 1.0 steals, shooting 54.3 percent from the field and a stellar 62.5 percent from deep, taking four threes a game.
The 25-year-old was plagued by a sprained left shoulder, which forced him to miss the Eastern Conference Finals against James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Larkin says minutes will be the biggest factor in his decision as to where he signs. He’s played for a different team in all four seasons in the NBA, suiting up for the Mavericks, the Knicks, the Nets and the Celtics.
“Playing time is important to me. I’ve been in a lot of different situations throughout my career thus far,” he told Kennedy. “Sometimes I’ve played a lot of minutes, sometimes I haven’t gotten many minutes, sometimes the minutes have been very inconsistent. I’m just trying to find a team that wants me to play good minutes so that I can continue to grow and develop for their team.”
Larkin hopes to be able to play for a team for more than one season for the first time in his career.
“And hopefully, I can stop this streak of playing for a different team every single season,” he said. “I would probably prefer a multi-year deal.”
Larkin emphasized getting an opportunity to play will be the overriding factor for him.
:For me, it’s mainly just playing time. All that other stuff, that comes after,” he said. “Money, the city, all of that stuff comes after playing time for me. I just want to get to somewhere I know I can play and continue to grow as a player.
“And I’ll do whatever it takes to find another good opportunity.”