Just a day after signing Scott Machado, the Los Angeles Lakers announced they had cut him and Johnathan Williams, trimming their roster to 16 players including their pair of two-way contracts (Alex Caruso and Travis Wear).
Why would the Lakers sign a player just to waive them 24 hours later? Well, as explained yesterday, Machado (and probably Williams as well) were in all likelihood on Exhibit 10 contracts that would allow the team to pay them a bonus of up to $50,000 if they were cut by the Lakers, sign with the South Bay Lakers and stay with the team in the G League for 60 days this season.
Machado never even suited up for the Lakers, but Williams actually impressed for the team during preseason, averaging 9.8 points and 3 rebounds over six appearances, leading to at least some debate over whether he might have shown enough as a viable small-ball five option to make the roster.
That won’t happen — or at least not yet — but now that Williams has had a training camp to be around the team and learn some of their system, he might be an injury replacement option down the road if he continues his strong play in the G League (should he choose to go that route).
The Lakers also now have an open roster spot for a full-time NBA player (i.e. one not on a two-way contract), which is something Rob Pelinka had said the team was leaning towards entering the regular season with. Leaving the space would allow the Lakers to take on a player who is bought out later this year, or acquire a contributor an uneven two-for-one player trade at some point this season.
It remains to be seen what route the team will go with that final spot, but with potential depth needs at both center and point guard, who gets bought out or otherwise becomes available will certainly be worth monitoring going forward.
You can follow Harrison on Twitter at @hmfaigen.