The Los Angeles Lakers had a busy night for the 2018 NBA Draft. Though they didn’t make any trades, the team had three picks to improve the roster, but they weren’t done after that.
As is usually the case, undrafted players tend to agree to Summer League contracts with certain teams immediately after the draft. But with the new two-way contracts now an option, that becomes a strategy for teams, and the Lakers took advantage of it.
According to Shams Charania of Yahoo! Sports, the Lakers agreed to a two-way deal with Kansas guard Malik Newman:
Sources: Undrafted Kansas guard Malik Newman has agreed to a two-way contract with the Los Angeles Lakers.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 22, 2018
Much like his Kansas teammate Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk who was the Lakers’ final draft pick, as well as their first round pick Moritz Wagner, Newman is a great shooter, hitting 41.5 percent from 3-point range last year.
Overall he averaged 14.1 points and 5.0 rebounds last season with the Jayhawks. Newman is known as an explosive scorer who has a number of ways to get buckets and many view him as similar to a player such as Lou Williams and Monta Ellis.
The Lakers have an idea of the type of players they are looking for. At the very least Newman provides more shooting as well as another potential ballhandler as the Lakers struggled at the point guard position when Lonzo Ball was injured.
Being on a two-way contract, Newman will certainly be on the Summer League roster and will likely spend most of his time down with the South Bay Lakers of the G League, much like Alex Caruso did last year.
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