After struggling in the Summer League due to injury, the Los Angeles Lakers waived guard Malik Newman, it was announced on Thursday. Newman had been signed to a two-way contract immediately after the NBA Draft after going undrafted.
OFFICIAL: Lakers Waive Malik Newmanhttps://t.co/XT0l7M7CiS
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) July 20, 2018
Newman averaged 3.2 points per game in 9.8 minutes, but featured in just five games this summer before suffering an injury.
Despite the injury, Newman was considered one of the top undrafted prospects in the draft after averaging 14.2 points, 5.0 rebounds and 2.1 assists while shooting 46.3 percent from the field and 41.5 percent from three.
The Lakers quickly snatched up the guard after the draft, a move that made great sense at the time. The timing of this move and the circumstances around it would suggest the Lakers have a move to make in place of it.
However, the only true standouts in the Summer League were Josh Hart and Svi Mykhailiuk, two players the Lakers have under contract, along with Mo Wagner and Alex Caruso, the former the team’s first-round draft pick and the latter the Lakers’ other two-way player.
Of players on the Summer League roster, either Nick King or Xavier Rathan-Mayes could potentially take the second two-way roster spot, but both would be marginal upgrades at best with less upside than Newman.
The Lakers could perhaps be keeping the roster spot open for a move during the season or after training camp should a player be waived that the team finds intriguing. As it stands, the Lakers have one open roster spot and one open two-way roster spot.