During his exit interview after the season, Robert Sacre said he wanted to return to the Lakers next season. As the only NBA team he’d ever played for, Sacre said he was comfortable in Los Angeles, loved the city and the fans of the team, and did not want to uproot his family.
Well, despite his professed hopes, Robert Sacre will not return to the Lakers next season. Instead, he will fight for a roster spot in New Orleans:
The Pelicans are bringing former Lakers center Robert Sacre to training camp, according to league sources
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) August 11, 2016
Sacre is a native of Louisiana, so heading “home” to try to make the Pelicans’ roster is a natural move. However, as Eric Pincus notes, this will be an uphill challenge for him as they already have 15 guaranteed contracts on their roster. It will take a fantastic training camp for him to dislodge a player who is already guaranteed his paycheck.
Still, I wish Sacre the best of luck. As the 60th pick in the 2012 draft, Sacre’s road to being a legitimate NBA player was always going to be tough. Players drafted in his position rarely have good odds of sticking in the NBA, where the bottom of rosters churn and players shuffle between the NBA, the D-League, and overseas in the hopes of making their NBA dream come true.
Sacre stuck for 4 seasons with the Lakers via hard work, an enthusiastic attitude, and an honest approach to wanting to improve himself and the team via his efforts in practice, in the film room, and on the bench. By all accounts he was a fantastic teammate who always came to work ready to contribute in any way he could.
No, he was not as talented as other players. And, based on his lower ceiling, he probably should not have gotten as many minutes as he did during his tenure with the team. That is more reflective of the construction of the roster, injuries, and coaching decisions, however. I never thought Sacre should have caught the flak he did for not playing better than he was likely capable of. I know I’m not alone on that, but on too many nights it seems like I was.
In any event, I wish Sacre nothing but the best of luck in his basketball future. His time with the Lakers didn’t produce a lot of wins, but he made the best out of the situation with his work ethic and how he supported his teammates. Hopefully he’ll be able to do the same somewhere else.