With the Los Angeles Lakers trading for Russell Westbrook, there are very few returning players on the current roster. The team lost one young player on a two-way contract last season when Kostas Antetokounmpo decided to sign in the EuroLeague. Luckily, the Lakers will be keeping one of their young big men from last season.
According to Harrison Faigen of Silver Screen & Roll, power forward Devontae Cacok will be returning to Los Angeles to play for their summer league team in Las Vegas. It’s a bit of a step down from the two-way contract he received last season but that could certainly be on the table if he plays well in the summer league.
Cacock has played in 21 total games for the Lakers over the last two seasons. He’s averaged 2.1 points a game with 1.8 rebounds. There are going to be a lot of moving parts this offseason and it’s unclear where the young power forward could fit on the roster. Having a big summer would help his chances to get another two-way contract.
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Lakers Players Surprised by Westbrook Trade
Prior to the Lakers pulling off the Westbrook trade, it appeared that the team was going to trade for Sacramento Kings guard Buddy Hield. In fact, a deal was on the table before Los Angeles went a different direction. Apparently, the players involved in the trade also thought they were going elsewhere, according to Jason Jones of The Athletic:
Imagine being Buddy Hield and having people congratulating you on becoming a Laker and having the chance to play with LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
Or being Kyle Kuzma with a chance to be a starter again under the coach you were the most productive under, Luke Walton, escape being the Los Angeles scapegoat and have a chance to shine.
Or Montrezl Harrell, who opted into his $9.7 million option with the idea of joining the Kings, where he has a good friend in assistant coach Rico Hines, and was going to be a featured part of Sacramento’s bench — unlike last season with the Lakers when he would go from key player to DNP-CDs.
The Lakers don’t have an obligation to make a trade because the players think it’s going to happen. However, it was odd how quickly things changed. The team’s roster could look really different right now had the Kings deal gone through.
Busy Start to Busy Offseason
Whether or not the Westbrook trade ends up being a win is a moot point. The Lakers made the trade and have to live with the results. Now that the team has a big three between Westbrook, LeBron James and Anthony Davis, general manager Rob Pelinka need to start building the roster around them.
Outside of Davis and LeBron, the team isn’t poised to look very similar to how it did last season. Obviously, the Lakers need to add a lot of shooting. None of the team’s big three are particularly great shooters. It will be interesting to see how many shooters Pelinka tries to sign this offseason.