The 2016 NBA free agency period has been open for just mere hours, but the Los Angeles Lakers have been busy right from the start.
Despite a lack of interest from top free agent targets, the Lakers have now managed to agree on deals with two players. First, they made a surprising move to sign Timofey Mozgov to a four-year, $64 million deal, presumably filling the hole on the roster that was a starting center.
While many fans are upset with that deal, perhaps they will be happier with the second free agent move of the summer for Los Angeles.
The Vertical’s Shams Charania reports that the Lakers have locked up an important member of their young core.
Jordan Clarkson has reached agreement on a four-year, $50M deal to return to the Los Angeles Lakers, league sources tell The Vertical.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 1, 2016
There was a lot of talk on which route to take with Clarkson in free agency. Had the Lakers elected to let him sign an offer sheet with another team, they could have matched it while only having to pay Clarkson a shade under $6 million per season for the first two years on his deal, due to the Gilbert Arenas Provision.
Instead, they chose to get it taken care of right away. This could potentially mean that Clarkson will participate in NBA Summer League play, now that he is under contract, although that still remains uncertain.
At just over $12 million per season, the Lakers get great value with this signing under a salary cap that is projected to be $107 million next summer.
One of the perks of building through the draft is being able to control the contracts of your young players through restricted free agency, and that much is evident now. The core remains intact, and it looks like it will stay that way for at least the next few years.