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Buffalo PF Nick Perkins joins Los Angeles Lakers for NBA Summer League

The Great Lakes State native is headed to the Lakers in Vegas.

Arizona State v Buffalo Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Buffalo power forward Nick Perkins was signed by the Los Angeles Lakers for NBA Summer League.

Perkins spent four years at Buffalo, primarily functioning as the team’s sixth man and spark off the bench. The 6’8” big man offers a versatile game which includes a solid set of post moves, a strong rebounding ability, and the ability to can threes.

Perkins led Buffalo to two-straight Round of 32 appearances, upsetting a #4 seed Arizona in 2018 before annihilating a #11 Arizona State in 2019. In those March Madness wins, Perkins contributed 34 points, 14 rebounds, and four 3-pointers.

The Ypsilanti, MI, native attained First Team All-MAC honors in each of his final two seasons. He averaged 16.2 and 6.0 points and rebounds as a junior and 14.7 and 7.4 as a senior. Perkins was efficient in the post at Buffalo, shooting above 50% inside the arc in all four seasons. But his game began to blossom outside of the lower block, netting 37.6% of his triples as a senior.

The Lakers roster is currently depleted as they only have six players under contract: LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Kyle Kuzma, Moritz Wagner, Jermerrio Jones, and Isaac Bonga. Of those six players, only three were a part of the Lakers’ regular rotation in 2018-19. The Lakers only have $23.7 million remaining in cap space with this depleted roster, so if Perkins has a good showing in Summer League, there is a chance he can land a spot in LA.

The Lakers Summer League starts July 5 in Las Vegas against the Chicago Bulls. Los Angeles additionally plays on July 6, 8, and 10 before entering the tournament portion of Summer League. The Lakers added one player in Thursday night’s draft in Iowa State small forward Talen Horton-Tucker.

The rest of the Summer League roster will include undrafted prospects like Perkins as well as young journeymen or G League players looking for another shot at the NBA. Recently, the Lakers have dominated Summer League behind Kyle Kuzma and Josh Hart, appearing in each of the last two championship games.

If the Lakers elect to keep Perkins within the organization, he may spend time in the G League with the South Bay Lakers, whether on assignment, a 2-way contract, or on South Bay’s ordinary roster.

Perkins’ college teammate, C.J. Massinburg landed a similar Summer League deal with the Brooklyn Nets. The two former Bulls will each embark on their journey to become the first Buffalo alum to log a minute of NBA action.