The two players have struggled to find minutes as the Lakers have used an eight-man rotation in recent weeks that has included Steve Blake, Jodie Meeks and Antawn Jamison, leaving little time for the young players to gain experience. Morris, a second-year 6-foot-4 guard out of Michigan, played in 42 games in 2012-13, averaging 4.4 points, 1.7 assists and 1.2 rebounds in 42 games overall, 17 of which he started. He last logged five minutes in the Lakers Feb. 28 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves and finished with zero points, one rebound and one assist.
Sacre, a 7-foot rookie out of Gonzaga has also found the rotation tough to crack, playing in just 27 games where he averaged 1.5 points and 1.1 rebounds in 7.2 minutes. Even with the depletion of key frontcourt personnel like Jordan Hill (hip injury, out for the season) and Pau Gasol (out indefinitely, torn plantar fascia), he hasn’t been able to make an impact. Head coach Mike D’Antoni has chosen to often go with a smaller group that can stretch the floor from deep rather than rely on post players to get the job done.
Though the Lakers will send both players to the D-League affiliate D-Fenders, that does not free up roster space to sign a potential free agents. What it does do, however, is give two young players a chance to play rather than sit, so that if their number is called come playoff time, they’ll have some more experience to draw from.