On Friday, the Los Angeles Lakers announced that they had signed former UCLA Bruin Travis Wear for the remainder of the 2017-18 season after his second 10-day contract expired on Thursday night in New Orleans.
Wear averaged 4.8 points and 2.2 rebounds in 12.1 minutes per game over 20 days of service from Mar. 3 to Mar. 22, and Lakers coach Luke Walton regularly complimented the 27-year-old on his defense and ability to fit into the team's defensive structure, so the announcement to keep the forward on board for the final three weeks of the season did not come as a surprise.
In addition to the defense, Wear also displayed an ability to step up and knock shots down when the NBA arena light shone brightest. The forward helped stretch the floor and shot 40 percent from three-point land in the 10 games he played prior to securing the contract.
Notably, the Lakers did not sign the Mater Dei High School product to a multi-year non-guaranteed contract, as the team did with David Nwaba in a similar situation a year earlier. By signing the player for the remainder of the year, the Lakers should be able to make Wear a restricted free agent.
Should the team require salary cap space to sign major free agents in the summer, the Lakers should be able to renounce Wear's restricted status and work out a deal to re-sign the player directly instead of having the put the player on waivers and risk losing him to another team, which is what happened with Nwaba when the Chicago Bulls claimed him.
Wear played on the Lakers' Summer League team and also with the G-League affiliate South Bay Lakers prior to getting the call-up to the LA Lakers after the team got hit with a flurry of injuries late in the season.
Based on his performance and on the structure of his contract, one would expect that the Lakers plan to have Wear in training camp ahead of the 2018-19 season.