The Lakers have plenty of experience with unearthing useful prospects in the second round or as undrafted players. As a result, they also have plenty of experience with the Gilbert Arenas Rule and the complications that come with retaining those hidden gems.
The new CBA looked to help solve some of those issues for teams with a Second Round Pick Exception. The rule allows teams to sign second-rounders to as long as four-year deals, which the Lakers themselves did this very season.
After spending quite a hefty fee for the pick used to draft him, the Lakers signed Maxwell Lewis to a four-year deal, according to Khobi Price of the OC Register.
Reporting on second-round pick Maxwell Lewis' 4-year contract with the Lakers, per sources:— Khobi Price (@khobi_price) July 9, 2023
First two years are fully guaranteed with salaries around $1.1 million for 2023-24 and $1.4 million for 2024-25.
Partially guaranteed ($100K) for 2025-26 and a team option for 2026-27.
In previous years, the Lakers were forced into tough decisions and circumstances after the second year for guys like Jordan Clarkson and Talen Horton-Tucker. Now, those decisions won’t have to come until much, much later for the Lakers.
Lewis has shown some flashes during Summer League this season. It’s not uncommon for rookies to struggle in their first games in Summer League, though. Even amidst his struggles, he’s had his flashes, including going 5-9 from the field for 12 points in Sunday’s win over the Hornets.
This contract takes a bit of pressure off Lewis to contribute right away, too, and may allow him to develop a bit more behind the scenes, whether in the G League or with the Stay Ready groups on the NBA roster.
Either way, it feels like a win for the Lakers and Lewis — with the latter getting a long-term contract if things work out, and the former being able to secure another potential steal of a draft pick for twice as long as before.
You can follow Jacob on Twitter at @JacobRude.