The Los Angeles Lakers, despite receiving criticism for the makeup of their roster, have a plan moving forward. They have carefully cultivated their salary cap space to give themselves the flexibility to make another big move when the opportunity presents itself.
However, while they may have stars in their sights next summer (or perhaps even at the trade deadline), they may have stumbled onto a player that they want to keep around long-term in Johnathan Williams.
The undrafted rookie has been a revelation as a backup center, giving the Lakers a badly-needed presence on the boards. After initially cutting the springy Williams, Los Angeles then decided to bring him back on a two-way contract.
Williams has taken off from there, using his defensive versatility to pick up minutes backing up JaVale McGee. The Lakers have an open roster spot and could decide to convert Williams to a full contract due to his stellar play, but is there incentive to do so?
On this episode of the Lakers Nation Podcast, host Trevor Lane and cap expert Keith Smith of Yahoo! Sports break down what the options are with Williams’ deal and what makes the most sense for the Lakers.
He can only spend 45 days with Los Angeles due to the rules of a two-way contract, but is that enough to hold L.A. over until they find a more permanent solution? Or is he who they want to commit to moving forward?
Los Angeles may want to see who will be available on the buyout market, which could put Williams in a tricky spot.
Plus, Smith reveals a minor change in the reporting of Luol Deng’s buyout that could make a big difference come 2019 NBA free agency. All that plus more, to listen just click the player above.