With the Los Angeles Lakers signing Austin Reaves and Joel Ayayi to be their next pair of players on two-way contracts, it wasn’t initially clear what would happen to Devontae Cacok, who has spent the last two seasons on a two-way contract with the team after going undrafted out of UNC Wilmington.
But while he won’t be back as one of their two-way players at this point, Cacok is still returning to the team he won a championship with in 2020, as he will be playing for the Lakers’ summer league team in Las Vegas, a league source told Silver Screen and Roll.
As a player with two years of league experience, Cacok is eligible for one more year on a two-way contract. Each NBA team can only have a pair of two-way players, however, and the Lakers’ have used their two slots on Reaves and Ayayi. Cacok’s fellow Lakers two-way player the last two seasons, Kostas Antetokounmpo, was not eligible for another two-way deal, and signed with a French basketball team this summer.
Cacok only played 98 minutes over 20 games last season, but showed the hyperactive rebounding he’s become known for in his playing time, grabbing 36% of available defensive rebounds while on the court, and 24.6% of offensive rebounds, according to Basketball-Reference. For an undersized, 6’8 center, that skill is especially necessary to stay on the floor, as was his efficient 58.6% shooting percentage.
The prior year, Cacok finished third in G League Rookie of the Year voting while averaging 19.4 points, 11.9 rebounds, 1.1 steals and 0.4 blocks during his first season. He was also one of the best players in the entire G League that year, not just among rookies, making both the All-NBA G League first team and All-Rookie team.
Cacok, 24, will have plenty of opportunities to show what he can do as one of only two big men so far on a guard and wing-heavy summer league roster for the Lakers. Reaves and Ayayi are both guards, and joining them and Cacok will be Texas Tech guard Mac McClung, Michigan wing Chaundee Brown, free agent guards Zavier Simpson and Dakota Mathias, and free agent forwards Yoeli Childs and Vic Law. 6’5 guard Alan Griffin is also reportedly joining the team. Right now, Childs and Cacok are the only players on the team standing 6’8 or taller.