4:45pm: Ramona Shelburne of ESPN Los Angeles confirms (via Twitter) that the Lakers’ decision to release Harris was financially motivated, and not a signal that another player will be added to the roster.
Harris, 24, went undrafted out of Gonzaga in June before joining the Lakers’ summer league squad and eventually signing a partially guaranteed deal with the team. The 6’8″ forward appeared briefly in a pair of games with the Lakers this season, and also recorded 18 points in his only D-League game for the Los Angeles D-Fenders. He’ll become an unrestricted free agent, assuming he clears waivers.
As for the Lakers, while the move opens up a roster spot, it’s not immediately clear if the team plans to add a replacement for Harris. 10-day contracts can’t be inked until the new year, but the club could sign a player to a non-guaranteed contract, which wouldn’t become guaranteed until January 10th.
If the Lakers don’t intend to fill that 15th spot, Harris’ release likely represents a money-saving move. The team was already on the hook for Harris’ partial guarantee worth $100K, but that amount would have begun to increase next week, had he remained on the roster.