JULY 1ST, 2:30am: The Lakers have indeed decided to retain Sacre for the 2015/16 campaign, Charania reports (on Twitter).
JUNE 10TH, 12:27pm: The Lakers are likely to retain Robert Sacre past June 30th, when his non-guaranteed salary becomes fully guaranteed, as league sources informed Shams Charania of RealGM. The guarantee date represents a de facto team option for the Lakers, given its proximity to the June 29th date on which most options must be either exercised or declined.
The move wouldn’t impinge much upon the team’s flexibility for the July free agency rush, as Sacre is slated to make only the three-year veteran’s minimum of slightly more than $981K next season. That would leave the Lakers with still only about $36MM in commitments for 2015/16.
Charania suggests there’s a chance the Lakers could look into reworking Sacre’s contract, but renegotiations and extensions aren’t allowed for contracts that aren’t at least four seasons. Sacre’s deal is a three-year pact.
The 26-year-old center has been a part of the rotation each of the past two seasons for the Lakers, averaging 5.0 points and 3.7 rebounds in 16.8 minutes per game over that span. He played a lesser role as a rookie after the team made him the final pick of the 2012 draft, but he nonetheless wound up signing the deal he has now. The Lakers are in line to draft either Karl-Anthony Towns or Jahlil Okafor with the No. 2 overall pick this month, a move that poses a threat to Sacre’s playing time, particularly with the expected return of injured power forward Julius Randle. It’s possible that the team’s apparent willingness to guarantee Sacre’s salary is a sign it won’t draft a big man, but that’s not necessarily the case, given Sacre’s strong production relative to his cost.