The Los Angeles Lakers signed Jeffrey Carroll to an Exhibit 10 contract in undrafted free agency soon after the Oklahoma State guard went unselected in the 2018 NBA Draft.
If the Exhibit 10 contract sounds familiar, it’s because it’s the same type of contract the Lakers signed Travis Wear to last year during the preseason, and allows them to later convert the contract into a two-way contract.
So why is such a contract significant? Well, it signals that the Lakers — who already gave one of their two-way contracts to Kansas guard Malik Newman at the start of undrafted free agency — have at least some level of interest in keeping Carroll around.
In an exclusive Q&A with Honi Ahmadian of Lakers Outsiders, Carroll gave a good look at why the Lakers might have wanted to bring him in:
HA: Are you familiar with the Lakers play style and how do you see your game fitting in with the rest of the roster?
JC: I know that the Lakers are very up-tempo. They like to get up and down pretty fast. I think that right there alone is where I can thrive, being around playmakers and stuff like that. It’ll just make my job a lot easier just being a whole bunch of professional guys. Guys who are already playing and stuff like that.
If Carroll can use his playmaking and finishing skills in the open court, then he could fill a need for the Lakers, who will need cheap guard depth (especially if their superteam dreams come true), and especially if the player can run in transition.
Should Carroll impress in summer league or in training camp, the Lakers could either make him their second and final two-way contract player, or keep him on the roster at the veteran’s minimum outright.
In a Q&A that also saw him say that he models his game after Devin Booker, Klay Thompson and Paul George, Carroll also talked about how excited he was to meet his new boss for the first time:
HA: What was it like meeting Magic Johnson?
JC: It was like a dream come true. My mom’s favorite player was Magic because she loved the Lakers whenever she was growing up. Her favorite color is purple and she was raving about that then whenever I took the picture with Magic, I sent it to her and she was like ‘Oh my God you met Magic. That’s my favorite player, you know that?’ and I was like yeah. I definitely made her day with that.
But me meeting him, just coming from not even knowing if you want to play basketball growing up to you’re about to be in the NBA. You’re talking to Magic Johnson, a legend who’s been through it, played at the highest level. Just meeting him was kind of surreal like ‘Wow. This is Magic. He’s going to make some big decisions. He’s going to decide if he wants me or not.’ So I wanted to try to do something to impress him and stand out. It was really, really cool though making small talk with him. It was definitely a good experience.
Evidently Carroll did stand out like he wanted in the evaluation process, and despite a rough debut that saw him go 1-6 in 14 minutes, one game does not a summer league make. If Carroll can bounce back and impress Johnson and the front office again this summer, they might just keep him around a while longer.
You can follow Harrison on Twitter at @hmfaigen.