The main goal of the NBA amidst a forthcoming return to finish out the 2019-20 regular season is to keep its players, coaches and staff safe. As such, the league wants to limit the number of people who travel to Orlando as the possibility of a coronavirus (COVID-19) breakout would be lessened as there are fewer people around.
However, it has raised some concern amongst teams and players as the possibility of someone contracting the virus, or sustaining a serious injury, would require players to replace them. The easiest way for many teams to do that would be to allow their two-way players to be with the team as well, which is why many teams are pushing for expanded rosters in this return.
This is something that still needs to be negotiated and figured out between the league and the players union, but for the time being, the Lakers plan on taking all 17 players, including their two-way players, when they travel to Orlando, according to Brad Turner of the L.A. Times:
The Lakers will take 17 players, which includes two two-way players, to Walt Disney World, which is where teams will stay in mostly secluded hotels that are on the campus of ESPN’s Wide World of Sports Complex.
The Lakers and teams across the league likely all would prefer do this and bring their two-way players along. If someone needs to be replaced for any reason, they are already under the umbrella, and have been practicing with the team so they have the trust of the coaches.
For the Lakers, this would mean Devontae Cacok and Kostas Antetokounmpo will be traveling with the team. Obviously, if the Lakers are making a deep playoff run neither of these two would be seeing the court.
If they were getting any meaningful minutes, it wouldn’t be a good thing as it would mean that someone or multiple players on the roster would have suffered injuries or something else keeping them off the court.
Another positive of this would be the practice time and work that Cacok and Antetokounmpo would get with the main Lakers roster, and rookie Talen-Horton Tucker would be a huge beneficiary of this as well. These players are on two-way contracts because the team believes they have potential to be contributors, and the rise of Alex Caruso is proof as to what can happen.
The league is continuing to push the safety of everyone, but teams must be able to have contingency plans in case something happens. This is still something that the league and players must agree on, but as it stands the Lakers and others around the league plan to have these two-way players around and available in case of emergency.