The Los Angeles Lakers have announced that they will allow Darius Morris, Andrew Goudelock and Devin Ebanks to become unrestricted free agents by not extending a qualifying offer to them, according to the L.A. Times:
[pullquote]General Manager Mitch Kupchak confirmed Thursday that the Lakers will not be extending qualifying offers to free agents Darius Morris, Andrew Goudelock and Devin Ebanks.
All three will hit July as unrestricted free agents. Earlier in the week, the Lakers gave center Robert Sacre a qualifying offer of $988,872 — making him a restricted free agent.
Kupchak noted that he had asked Morris to join the Lakers’ summer league team in Las Vegas in July. The Lakers may still look to bring back the 6-foot-4 guard, but on a cheaper contract than the $1.2 million required to make him restricted.
“If I get my contract straightened away before then, I’d be more than happy to play summer league,” Morris said last week.
“I think I’m just developing and coming into my own, with my skills on the court and with my body physically,” the 22-year-old added.[/pullquote]
If the Lakers had extended a qualifying offer to any of the players, they would’ve been able to match any contract offer by another club. However, the Lakers have now lost that advantage.
Ebanks’ departure was expected, while Goudelock was a late-season addition, but I thought Morris would be a lock to return next year. He impressed coach Mike D’Antoni last season – especially on the defensive end – and has a great work ethic.
This doesn’t mean that Morris, or even Goudelock, definitely won’t return next year, but the fact that the Lakers allowed them to become unrestricted free agents shows they’re not all that coveted by the team at this time.