Lakers exercise contract option on Meeks

The Lakers made two moves on Wednesday to shore up their bench in 2013-14, exercising their option on Jodie Meeks’ contract and extending a qualifying offer to Robert Sacre.

Meeks’ option will pay him $1.5 million next season. Sacre’s qualifying offer makes him a restricted free agent.

“Jodie is not only a gifted 3-point shooter who helps us space the floor on the offensive end, but he is also a very active and underrated player defensively who continues to work on and improve all aspects of his game,” Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak said of Meeks. “He was an important member of our team last year and we look forward to having him back for the 2013-14 season.”

Meeks, a guard, started 10 of the 78 games in which he played last season, averaging 7.9 points, 2.2 rebounds and 0.9 assists. Sacre, a big man, appeared in 32 games with the Lakers last season, averaging 1.3 points and 1.1 rebounds. He also spent seven games in the NBA D-League with the Los Angeles D-Fenders.

With the decision to exercise their option on Meeks’ contract, the Lakers now have eight players under contract for next season, with Dwight Howard’s free agent decision pending. If Sacre returns, that number will increase to nine.