Quick follow up that I was worried would get lost in all the free agency news.
Lakers rookie Sun Yue is playing for the Chinese national team this summer and will not participate in the Lakers summer league.
The Lakers have until the first week in August to extend a training camp invite to Yue. Though they clearly would’ve preferred to see what Yue could do in summer league, they seem to understand his commitment to the national team.
If Yue is invited to training camp, there is a $100,000 kicker in his contract. If he’s on the opening day roster, his contract becomes guaranteed for next year. Though the team is still intrigued by Yue’s talent and sees him as a three-year project, that essentially makes it a numbers decision. Roster spots and dollar signs, that is. A lot will depend on just how much they Lakers have to shell out in free agency to keep Lamar Odom, Trevor Ariza and Shannon Brown.
Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak has said that it’s more likely the team will go with 13 players next year to help ease the luxury tax burden. If all three free agents are retained, and no trades are made to clear a roster spot, Yue could be left out.