With the deftness of a no-look pass, Magic Johnson has made a big off-court assist for the Los Angeles Lakers.

Johnson voluntarily surrendered part of his salary so the Lakers could acquire high-scoring veteran Terry Teagle and remain under the NBA's salary cap limits, general manager Jerry West revealed Wednesday."We didn't have enough money under the cap to pick up Terry's contract without Magic giving up a substantial amount of his own salary," West said.

Under league rules, teams cannot exceed $11.8 million per year in total player salaries.

"It's about winning. Of course money is great, but I play to win, and that's why I did it," Johnson said in a statement.

Johnson's off-court gesture won praise from Lakers owner Jerry Buss.

"It is another incredible play in a long line of incredible plays by Magic Johnson in the pursuit of victory."

The amount of money Johnson relinquished was not disclosed, but a source said it was "a substantial amount, in six figures."