The Los Angeles Lakers made what is likely the final major move of their offseason on Sunday by reaching an agreement to trade JaVale McGee to the Cleveland Cavaliers in order to clear up room under the hard cap.
Following the deal — which also netted them Jordan Bell and Alfonzo McKinnie — L.A. reportedly came to terms with Marc Gasol on a two-year contract, adding one of the highest basketball-IQ big man in the NBA.
The Lakers would have been pressed financially if not able to move McGee due to his $4.2 million cap hit. Along with leading to an agreement with Gasol, the Lakers gained someone in McKinnie who played a bench role with the 2018-19 Golden State Warriors, and Bell, who won a championship with the 2017-18 Warriors.
However, L.A. is not expected to keep both of them on the roster. They will reportedly use the waive-and-stretch provision on Bell’s non-guaranteed contract and retain McKinnie, according to Dave McMenamin of ESPN:
The Lakers will guarantee $580,000 of Bell’s salary, waive him and use the stretch provision to space the money owed to him over the next three years, league sources told Marks. McKinnie’s contract has been fully guaranteed and he will begin the season on the Lakers’ roster, according to Marks.
After guaranteeing the $580,000 for this season, Bell’s remaining $1.2 million will be stretched over three years, paying him approximately $400,000 per year. This move gives the Lakers some breathing room with them being dangerously close to the hard cap triggered by the signing of Wesley Matthews to the bi-annual exception.
As for McKinnie, he will start the season on the Lakers roster, and bring them some depth on the wing. Listed at 6-foot-7 and 215 pounds, McKinnie will likely be brought in on a very limited role as a wing defender. He’s far from elite in any statistical category, but did shoot 48.7% from the field and 35.6% from three in his lone season with the Warriors.
Lakers re-sign Markieff Morris
While the Lakers roster has certainly improved on paper from last season, they still had minor moves to complete. One of those was re-signing Markieff Morris, who reportedly agreed to return on a one-year contract.
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