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Lakers cut Zach Norvell Jr., sign Devontae Cacok to second two-way contract

The Lakers have evidently liked what they’ve seen from Devontae Cacok in South Bay, and decided to lock him in on a two-way contract, cutting Zach Norvell Jr. in the process.

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Los Angeles Lakers v Golden State Warriors Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers are waiving rookie guard Zach Norvell Jr. to sign rookie forward Devontae Cacok to a two-way deal, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Norvell signed a two-way contract with the Lakers in June, while Cacok was initially brought on with an Exhibit 10 contract in July. Both of them have been playing in the G League with the South Bay Lakers.

Norvell earned his contract with the Lakers after a string of standout performances at the NBA’s Summer League tournament in Las Vegas. He also looked like an NBA player in the few preseason reps he got. However, while Norvell may very well still end up becoming an NBA player, Cacok has been a class above him, and really most of the players in the G League so far.

A 6’7 center at heart, it was unclear how Cacok would contribute at the NBA level without a jump shot or elite defensive skills. Through 12 games in the G League, he’s addressed some of the concerns by rebounding the ball at a high level. This season, Cacok is averaging 11.7 rebounds per game on an incredible 24.9% total rebound percentage.

Thats not just good — that’s historically great.

Cacok has also made it a point to only take high-percentage shots and, as a result, is shooting a team-high 66.4% from the field. On Tuesday against Santa Cruz Warriors, Cacok exploded for 21 points and 11 rebounds.

It can be argued that Norvell has a higher upside than Kostas Antetokounmpo — the team’s other two-way player — but the theoretical benefit of keeping him around isn’t that hard to follow.

The thing that would be hard to argue, though, is that Cacok didn’t deserve one of the Lakers’ two-way spots.

The Lakers have enjoyed a ton of success bringing talent up through the G League like David Nwaba and most recently Alex Caruso, so let’s hope that Cacok is just the latest diamond in the rough.

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