Lakers News: Scotty Pippen Jr. And Cole Swider Sign Two-Way Contracts
Scotty Pippen Jr., Lakers
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers have announced the signings of Scotty Pippen Jr. and Cole Swider to two-way contracts. Both players will feature in the Lakers’ Summer League roster, which plays its first game Saturday in the California Classic.

Pippen and Swider participated in workouts with the Lakers before inking deals soon after the draft ended. They both stayed in college for at least three seasons with Swider transferring from Villanova to Syracuse after his junior year. Swider was the lone prospect who worked out twice with the Purple and Gold during the draft process.

Swider can evolve into a consistent threat from beyond the arc. Pippen is a solid two-way player and an undersized guard who finds a way to score.

Pippen is coming off a strong season at Vanderbilt where he appeared in 36 games and averaged 20.4 points and 1.9 steals in 33.1 minutes. He led the SEC in scoring and became the first conference player to average 20 points in consecutive seasons since 1996. He was an All-SEC First Team selection last season too.

The 6-foot-3 guard left a strong impression on general manager Rob Pelinka in his pre-draft workout. Pelinka said Pippen Jr. was “one of the most competitive players” and brought a certain level of tenacity on defense — no surprise as his father is known as one of the greatest defensive players.

Similar to Pippen, Swider was a key player for Syracuse last season. He started all 33 games for the Orange, averaging 13.9 points and 6.8 rebounds in 34.5 minutes. Swider knocked down over 40% of his threes in the past two seasons, leaving Pelinka encouraged that Swider can become an “elite shooter.”

Swider and Pippen have expressed their desire to take advantage of the two-way opportunity.

Swider is focused on following in Austin Reaves footsteps of cracking the rotation as an undrafted player. Pippen is keen on continuing to compete and work hard on both sides. A strong showing during the Summer League and capitalizing on opportunities during the season will surely help their case.

Shareef O’Neal states he’s healthy after heart & foot complications in college

Shareef O’Neal had an up and down college career full of transfers and injury problems. However, O’Neal still was able to notch a summer league deal with the Lakers and put to rest worries about his health.

O’Neal had open-heart surgery in 2018 and struggled with foot injuries in 2020 and 2021. It hurt his chances of gaining any rhythm in college. After his draft workout with the Lakers, he made it clear he feels healthy and is looking forward to taking advantage of his opportunity.

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