In December of 2019, the Los Angeles Lakers signed Devontae Cacok to a two-way contract after a solid stint with the team during Summer League and an impressive start with the team’s G-League affiliate the South Bay Lakers. Cacok even got himself a championship ring in 2020 with the franchise.
Still on that two-way contract during the 2020-21 season, Cacok’s opportunities to make an impact on the main roster were few and far between, though he did get a couple of chances due to the massive amount of injuries the team suffered through. Lakers reserve Montrezl Harrell also took a liking to Cacok, helping to mentor him throughout the season.
Overall Cacok appeared in 20 games with the Lakers this season, making one start and averaging 2.0 points and 1.6 rebounds on 58.6% shooting from the field. The majority of Cacok’s minutes came in garbage time when games were already decided, but even when on the bench or in street clothes, he was constantly providing energy to the team.
In the middle of the season with Frank Vogel constantly having to shuffle rotations and lineups due to injury, Cacok had the chance to make a positive impact for the Lakers in some meaningful games.
Cacok’s best game statistically came in an April contest against the Toronto Raptors when he finished with 10 points and eight rebounds on 5-of-7 shooting. The most memorable outing for him, however, had to come against the Boston Celtics just a week later.
Another garbage time outing turned into a moment of joy for Lakers fans as Cacok was part of a bench unit that cut a 27 point fourth-quarter Boston lead down to five in just under six minutes, forcing the Celtics to bring their starters back in the game. Though the Celtics held on, the rally showed that Cacok and the other Lakers reserves would always play as hard as possible regardless of the score.
Cacok received his first-ever start in the NBA on March 23, 2021 against the New Orleans Pelicans. He finished with four points, two rebounds, one steal and one block in 13 minutes of action. This was, at that point, the most minutes Cacok had ever played in an NBA game.
Though the Lakers didn’t come away with a win on that night, it was undoubtedly a milestone night for Cacok and one that showed the trust the coaching staff had in him to take on that task with a shorthanded roster.
Cacok is a restricted free agent after spending two seasons on the two-way contract. Now at 24 years of age, it would seem likely that the Lakers would look to use that two-way spot on a younger player with a little more potential meaning a return for Cacok would almost certainly have to be on a regular contract.
The odds of that happening would seem to be slim as the Lakers are trying to win a championship right now, but the team really likes what he brings. Whether or not that is enough to earn himself a contract remains to be seen.
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