The Los Angeles Lakers have been making a number of headlines both before and after the official start of free agency. However, their first official move involves a much smaller name than the ones they’ve been linked to.
According to Shams Charania of Real GM, the Lakers have officially exercised their team option on center Robert Sacre:
Los Angeles Lakers have exercised defensive 7-footer Robert Sacre's team option, guaranteeing his near $1M for 15-16, sources tell RealGM.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 1, 2015
The move shouldn’t come as a surprise. Sacre’s contract is for less than $1 million and he is a good locker room presence who can provide decent minutes at times. His shortcomings tend to show themselves when he is forced to play major minutes, but that is not the intention the Lakers have for him.
Sacre is a backup center and if the Lakers are successful in luring one of their big-name frontcourt targets to Los Angeles, Sacre likely won’t be a big part of the rotation. The Lakers already have Julius Randle, Tarik Black, Ryan Kelly, and rookie Larry Nance Jr. in the front court. Additionally, the team has already met with LaMarcus Aldridge, has meetings scheduled with DeAndre Jordan and Greg Monroe, and have reached out to both Jordan Hill and Ed Davis about returning.
As a seven-footer with a cheap contract, Sacre was an easy decision to return for the Lakers as they look to re-tool their frontcourt in free agency. Sacre averaged 4.6 points and 3.5 rebounds last season for the team.