The Los Angeles Lakers have waived undrafted free agents Kevon Harris, Zavier Simpson and Tres Tinkle, according to the NBA’s transactions page. The Lakers have yet to officially announce the move, but also never officially announced they had signed those three players, so an announcement about cutting them may not be in the offing. Their roster now stands at 14 contracts (including Quinn Cook’s non-guaranteed camp deal) and a pair of two-way contracts.
This is normally the part of one of these stories where I’d write the stats each player averaged during the preseason, but as we covered over the weekend, while there was extensive reporting that they’d been signed, none of the three players ever took part in Lakers training camp over the last week or so.
Whether that was related to the Lakers reportedly mulling over not sending a South Bay Lakers team to the G League bubble or just a result of the team trying to be as careful as possible with regards to the coronavirus by keeping the amount of people in the practice facility down, that saga is over. Given that the Lakers did apparently actually sign them, at least these three players were somewhat compensated, even if they never got a chance to show what they could do.
And even though these three players never showed up to camp, waiving them officially makes the Lakers even more shorthanded as the preseason continues. In addition to Harris, Simpson and Tinkle being gone now, the Lakers are also without Alfonzo McKinnie, who has missed all of training camp with what the team has only described as an “excused absence.” And on Sunday, the Lakers were without two-way players Devontae Cacok and Kostas Antetokounmpo.
“Due to the health and safety protocols of the league, those guys had an excused absence from the game,” said Lakers head coach Frank Vogel when asked about Cacok and Antetokounmpo not suiting up or being in the building.
It is unknown exactly what these three “excused absences” are for, but we won’t speculate in this space. The Lakers will continue the preseason with two upcoming games against the Phoenix Suns, one on Wednesday, and one on Friday. The main difference is that now they will do so without three players they never really had in the first place.