Earlier this week, the Los Angeles Lakers cut Zach Norvell Jr. in order to free up one of their pair of two-way contracts, and subsequently signed Devontae Cacok — who impressed for the team in Las Vegas Summer League and the G League with his rebounding, among other things — to the second slot.
Bobby Marks of ESPN revealed a few new details about Cacok’s two-way deal the next day on Twitter, including how many days Cacok can spend on the NBA roster this season (32) and how long his deal is (two years). The latter number puts him in somewhat rare company:
Devontae Cacok joins Kyle Guy, Marial Shayock, Bol Bol, Amir Coffey and Shamorie Ponds as players that signed a two-year Two-Way contract. The LAL forward will have 32 days of service available.— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) December 12, 2019
The Lakers getting Cacok under team control for that long could end up being a legitimate coup for them. That means that (like they did with Alex Caruso), they can rest easy knowing that they can develop Cacok slowly, and invest resources into his growth without having to worry he’ll just leave at the end of this season. For a team with limited ways to acquire young talent for down the line in the wake of all the draft picks they sent out in the Anthony Davis trade, that’s no small thing for the Lakers.
As for why Cacok is a good target for this specifically, so far during the short G League season he has shown enough promise to suggest he may just be the Lakers scouting department’s next diamond in the rough. As a 6’7” center, Cacok may at first glance appear to be a bit undersized, but so far in the G League he’s been able to make up for it by rebounding the hell out of the ball, grabbing 25.1% of available rebounds when he’s on the floor.
As Dakota Schmidt of our sister site Ridiculous Upside rounded up earlier this week in his scouting report on Cacok, that’s not just good evidence of an NBA skill, it’s legitimately historic:
If Cacok can continue on this run, he’d maintain a better average than any player in G League history. That includes former LA Clippers two-way player Angel Delgado, who was able to win G League Rookie of the Year during the 2018-19 season due primarily to his ability to crash the boards, as he averaged 14.8 rebounds and maintained a 24% TRB%.
Again, it’s early, and we have to see what Cacok can do against NBA teams in non-preseason games. But still, he very much appears to be worth taking a look at, and with the news of his contract length, now the Lakers can do so for a little longer.