The Los Angeles Lakers announced that they have signed G League veteran guard Reggie Hearn, and also waived David Stockton in order to make room for Hearn on the team’s training camp roster.
The move comes after Stockton’s strongest performance of the preseason, scoring 10 points and dishing 7 assists in 28 minutes as the Lakers beat the Warriors on Monday night.
The South Bay Lakers acquired the G League returning rights for both players in a trade with the Stockton Kings last month, meaning that while Stockton is now a free agent in NBA terms, he could only sign with South Bay in the G League.
What this essentially confirms is that while Hearn will take Stockton’s spot on the Lakers’ 20-man training camp roster for now, both will likely spend most (if not all) of their time in South Bay this year, because it seems like South Bay probably wouldn’t have given up two first round picks and the returning player rights to Derrick Griffin Jr. if Stockton and Hearn weren’t planning to stay here in the G League.
Here are a few details on Hearn, courtesy of the Lakers’ press release:
In 40 games (29 starts) with the NBA G League’s Stockton Kings last season, Hearn averaged 11.4 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.5 assists while shooting 40.4 percent from three-point range. The six-year NBA G League veteran has appeared in 227 games (150 starts) for three franchises and holds career averages of 11.0 points, 4.4 rebounds and 1.2 assists. The Northwestern alum also appeared in three NBA games for the Detroit Pistons in 2017-18 as part of his two-way contract. Hearn was named the 2018 USA Basketball Male Athlete of the Year for his efforts on the World Cup qualifying teams where he averaged 12.2 points and 4.2 rebounds while shooting 64.0 percent from three-point range in five games.
The Lakers roster stands at 20, including two two-way players.
So why would the Lakers do this? The main reason that makes sense logically would be in order to get both players some time in an NBA training camp, as well as to trigger the bonus they would get via Exhibit 10 deals for going to training camp with the Lakers before signing in South Bay, which could net them extra guaranteed money up to $50,000.
But with all due respect to Stockton and Hearn, this is essentially just a bookkeeping note for two players who are unlikely to play a role for the parent team this year, as Hearn — like Stockton before him — is all but assured to be cut when the Lakers have to trim their roster down to a maximum of 15 players before the season. Still, don’t expect either of them to go far.