The Los Angeles Lakers cut Zach Norvell Jr. from his two-way contract to make room for Devontae Cacok last week, but their G League team, the South Bay Lakers, announced that they added him to their roster on Tuesday.
Norvell averaged averaging 13.3 points, 3.1 rebounds and 2.6 assists on 35.7% shooting in 24.7 minutes per game while playing with South Bay earlier this season as part of his two-way contract, and is expected to join the team to play in the G League Winter Showcase this week.
Norvell may have gotten off to a rough shooting start in the G League this year, but he showed some promise in the preseason for the Lakers, dropping 29 points in his final exhibition game while managing 22 in an earlier contest. He also had maybe the singular highlight of the preseason for the Lakers with his crossover of Jordan Poole that basically made the veterans on the Lakers’ bench explode.
A few good preseason games don’t make Norvell a can’t-miss prospect — as evidenced by him, well, missing plenty in the G League — but it does mean that he’s at least a promising enough rookie to be worth the Lakers having around in South Bay to keep a closer eye on.
Now, it should be noted that under his current contract, if Norvell impresses he can be called up by any team in the NBA, as he’s no longer exclusively a Lakers prospect now that he doesn’t have his two-way contract anymore.
Still, this gives the Lakers a better and more up-close-and-personal look at his development in their gym and behind the scenes, and they’ve had success with players like Jemerrio Jones, Andre Ingram and most notably David Nwaba (who has gone onto a nice career) on similar contracts in their own building. Norvell may never reach even the small notoriety of those players, but the Lakers are smart to at least check if he can.