The Los Angeles Lakers have been on fire with the moves the team had made in recent months. It started with a strong trade deadline that reinvented the roster and continued with a stellar offseason that saw the team retain its core and make key additions on top of it.
It has not always been pretty for the Lake Show, though. The Russell Westbrook trade is the most obvious mistake that Rob Pelinka has made but there have been smaller mistakes that have made it harder to build a roster throughout the years.
To be fair to Pelinka, he was an agent before his stint in the Lakers’ front office and with no prior experience, there has been some learning to do on the job. Thankfully, Pelinka has actually been doing some learning. This is showcased by the contract that the Lake Show just signed second-round pick Maxwell Lewis to.
Maxwell Lewis’ contract shows the Lakers have learned from past mistakes
This may not seem like much of a big deal and for most NBA teams it wouldn’t be. Most second-round picks fizzle out and are not even worth keeping around on an NBA roster past their second season in the league.
That being said, Maxwell Lewis has legitimate potential to be a rotation guy in this league. Not only that but the Lakers have a great track record of getting the most out of players just like Lewis. It is not absurd to think that he could blossom and exceed expectations.
Los Angeles has made the mistake of not giving itself the means to sign players on larger than two-year contracts. That is why Max Christie is going to be a free agent after many fans expect a breakout season. It is why Austin Reaves got a big payday this summer, or why Talen Horton-Tucker had to sign a multi-year deal.
These may not seem like big issues but they are. Imagine if the Lakers still had Reaves on an extremely cheap deal and could have used that cap space elsewhere. Or imagine if the team didn’t have to re-sign THT during the 2021 summer. If they didn’t then Alex Caruso would still be a Laker.
Lewis becoming a rotation player is not a guarantee. However, if he does blossom like those before him, the Lakers are going to have the ability to retain him at a very team-friendly cost without having to commit to a large salary. That is called learning from past mistakes.