The Los Angeles Lakers have converted Wenyen Gabriel’s two-way contract to a standard NBA contract that will run through the 2022-23 season, the team announced on Friday afternoon.
Lakers have signed Wenyen Gabriel to a standard NBA deal, which was expected after Trevor Ariza was waived https://t.co/FUD9uhPpqX
— Michael Corvo (@michaelcorvoNBA) April 8, 2022
The Lakers were expected to sign a young player after waiving Trevor Ariza on Thursday with three games left in the season. The open roster spot allowed the Lakers to add a player on a partially non-guaranteed contract that will run through 2022-23. Gabriel was the presumed benefactor after impressing the team since inking the two-way deal on Feb. 28.
Gabriel infused the Lakers with some much-needed ranginess, athleticism and youth down the stretch. The 6’9, 25-year old big has averaged 14.4 points and 9.8 rebounds per 36 minutes in 19 appearances with Los Angeles.
“I like the energy that Wenyen brings to our team,” Frank Vogel said. “He plays super hard and has a pure attitude and is long and athletic. We need that type of length and athleticism at the forward position. He’s a little bit green in terms of being a young player, but definitely love his energy.”
Gabriel, who has played for six franchises in three seasons, is a career 33.3% three-point shooter, too.
“He’s got the ability to shoot the three,” Vogel noted. “And obviously he can play as a roller and he’s got great length defensively that he can switch or play in coverage against the other team’s big so he’s interesting to us and we’re gonna spend some time here putting him in there and evaluating.”
The Lakers will also have the option of dealing Gabriel this offseason, which could render them more flexible in trade talks.