The Los Angeles Lakers recently signed a center the Nets had moved on from, and now Brooklyn is set to return the favor. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, former Lakers big man Devontae Cacok is headed to the Nets after two years in Los Angeles on a two-way contract.
Cacok himself confirmed the news on Twitter:
Cacok originally signed a two-way deal with the Lakers after impressing for the team as an undrafted free agent in Las Vegas Summer League, beating out fellow undrafted player Zach Norvell Jr. for the team’s second two-way slot. Cacok excelled in the G League as a rookie, finishing third in Rookie of the Year voting while averaging 19.4 points, 11.9 rebounds, 1.1 steals and 0.4 blocks, averages that allowed him to additionally make both the All-NBA G League first team and All-Rookie team. He only played sparingly for the parent team, but won a championship in his first season after joining the Lakers in the bubble.
Cacok received more NBA opportunities in his second season on a two-way deal with the Lakers, but only barely so, getting just 98 minutes over 20 games. Still, he continued to excel as a rebounder despite his lack of traditional size, snatching 36% of available defensive boards while he was on the floor, and 24.6% of offensive ones, according to Basketball-Reference, while also shooting 58.6% from the field.
There appeared to at least be a chance Cacok would return to Los Angeles for a third season when he joined the team in Las Vegas Summer League this year, but he will instead continue to grind for his next opportunity in Brooklyn, news he appeared to foreshadow was coming a few days ago:
I have always had to grind for mine. Why stop now— Devontae Cacok (@Vontae__15) September 9, 2021
But as the saying goes, once a Laker, always a Laker, words that go double for Lakers champions. Cacok may be taking the next step in his journey elsewhere, but real fans will always remember and appreciate every member of a title team, no matter how much they played. Best of luck to him in Brooklyn.