Although LeBron James is very much still the centerpiece of the Los Angeles Lakers, they’re gently building for the future at the same time.
They have a number of promising young players on their roster, and they just reportedly signed one of them — Maxwell Lewis — to a four-year contract.
Reporting on second-round pick Maxwell Lewis' 4-year contract with the Lakers, per sources:
First two years are fully guaranteed with salaries around $1.1 million for 2023-24 and $1.4 million for 2024-25.
Partially guaranteed ($100K) for 2025-26 and a team option for 2026-27.
— Khobi Price (@khobi_price) July 9, 2023
The Lakers traded up in the second round of this year’s draft to acquire the No. 40 pick, which it used to select Lewis, and even though he was a second-round selection, his new contract will be worth a decent amount of coin.
Lewis, who is a native of Las Vegas and spent two seasons at Pepperdine University, is a 6-foot-7 forward who has plenty of athleticism and hops, not to mention the potential to be a 3-and-D player in the NBA. Many expected him to possibly be a first-round pick, but the Lakers had the good fortune of snagging him at No. 40.
During the NBA Summer League, he has been fairly quiet thus far, but he did show some production on Sunday versus the Charlotte Hornets with 12 points on 5-of-9 field-goal shooting while making both of his 3-point attempts.
Los Angeles has lacked any viable 3-and-D wings for the last couple of years, but all of a sudden, that type of player may become something of a strength for it. It signed Taurean Prince just days ago, and incoming second-year man Max Christie has looked impressive in Summer League play at both ends of the floor.
Long, rangy wings are the name of the game in today’s NBA, and the reigning champion Denver Nuggets are seemingly leading the way with two big starting guards in Jamal Murray and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.
The Lakers, who got swept by the Nuggets in the Western Conference Finals, are looking to take the next step this coming season and win their 18th world title while the 38-year-old James is still playing at a superstar level.