Report: Lakers to sacrifice $456,255 in cap space to keep Robert Sacre

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After making major progress from his rookie year to his second year, Robert Sacre’s numbers dipped across the board last season.

The third-year Lakers center averaged 4.6 points on 41.2 percent shooting and 3.5 rebounds in 16.9 minutes per game. Especially given his 7-foot frame, Sacre still has promise. But at 26, he’s not so young anymore.

Sacre’s 2015-16 minimum salary is unguaranteed, becoming fully guaranteed July 1. So, the Lakers face a decision.

Shams Charania of RealGM:

The Los Angeles Lakers expect to pick up center Robert Sacre’s veteran-minimum team option, league sources told RealGM.

Sacre will make $981,348 next season, an amount that will also serve as his cap number.

If the Lakers waive him, they’d be hit with a roster charge equal to the rookie-minimum salary of $525,093.

The difference: $456,255

It’s unlikely that amount will affect the Lakers’ bigger summer plans.

But it could.

That risk, even small, should have outweighed keeping Sacre. Consider two other questions with answers unlikely:

If the Lakers waive Sacre, how likely is it another team poaches him? They could probably wait to re-sign him until they have a clearer picture of whether his money could be put to better use.

If another team signs him, how likely is it the Lakers regret losing him?

Guaranteeing Sacre’s contract probably won’t affect the Lakers in a major way, positively or negatively. But given the potential of free agents to choose Los Angeles, I wouldn’t commit the $456,255 in cap space on a center who toggles the line between low-end backup and third string.