The Los Angeles Lakers assigned rookies Moritz Wagner and Svi Mykhailiuk to their G League affiliate, the South Bay Lakers, on Monday. This marks be Mykahiliuk’s first trip to the G League, while Wagner is returning after playing in the team’s regular season opener.
Wagner, the Lakers’ first-round pick in the 2018 NBA Draft has yet to see the court for the parent team. A knee contusion cost Wagner the entire preseason, but he was cleared to play and started for South Bay in their season-opening loss. He played 29 minutes and finished with 17 points and 4 rebounds.
With the Lakers recently adding veteran Tyson Chandler, the path to minutes for Wagner became practically impossible. He was the fourth-string center with Ivica Zubac also ahead of him on the depth chart.
Mykhailiuk has appeared in six games for the Lakers so far this season. Unfortunately, he has yet to find his jumper, shooting just 26.7 percent from the field and 14.3 percent from three-point range. This could serve as a way for him to get more comfortable and regain his confidence in his shooting stroke.
The two join some familiar faces in South Bay. Fellow 2018 draft pick Isaac Bonga has been excellent so far, averaging 18.0 points and 6.7 rebounds while shooting 62 percent from the field. Two-way players Alex Caruso and Jonathan Williams have also shined in South Bay as has last year’s late season call-up Andre Ingram.
The Lakers have been excellent at using their G League affiliate to help their young players get acclimated to the league and develop a confidence and rhythm before contributing on the main roster. They will undoubtedly be hoping for the same with these two recent assignments.