Blessed and grateful - Officially a Laker! Thanks #LakerNation!— Sviat Mykhailiuk (@Sviat_10) July 10, 2018
The timing of this signing might seem a bit strange considering the Lakers had incentive financially to wait to sign the 21-year-old forward, however, Jeff Siegel of Early Bird Rights explained why it makes sense for the Lakers to pay Mykhailiuk handsomely using cap space if they don’t plan on using it elsewhere this summer.
Mykhailiuk will get a nice bump in 2018-19, up to about $1.5M. They’ll use cap space to get this done so they can give him the raise over the minimum and make it a three-year deal. https://t.co/U4K82VZbfu https://t.co/XbGCI9WM3l— Jeff Siegel (@jgsiegel) July 10, 2018
The Lakers’ other second-round pick, Isaac Bonga, also got a three year deal for the same reason, which suggests the front office has plans to make another splashy move in the summer of 2019, when Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, Klay Thompson, Jimmy Butler, Kyrie and others will be on the open market.
There’s also a good chance the Lakers offered him the extra third year in his rookie contract because they’re really, really high on him, and rightfully so.
Through two games at the NBA’s Las Vegas Summer League, Mykhailiuk is averaging 16 points, 2 assists and 5.5 rebounds per game. The shooting has been as advertised, but he’s also shown value on the defensive end, which wasn’t expected of him even in Summer League play — at least not by anyone outside the Lakers’ front office and coaching staff.
If Mykhailiuk’s hot shooting from behind the arc carries into the regular season, it’s going to be hard for Walton to keep the rookie glued to bench in favor of veterans like Lance Stephenson, who the Lakers reportedly plan on signing to a one-year deal using the room exception worth $4.4 million. It might be a little too early to say, but there’s a good chance his shooting is legit.
Mykhailiuk will play a big role in the Lakers’ quest for back-to-back Summer League championships, but when training camp roles around, expect the former Kansas standout to fight for a spot in the regular season rotation. He might just be a rookie, but he has the potential to be a contributor on a contending team right away.
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