Report: Lakers to sign Lonnie Walker IV to 1-year deal
Free agent Lonnie Walker IV agreed to a one-year, $6.5 million contract with the Los Angeles Lakers, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic. This comes after the San Antonio Spurs rescinded the qualifying offer they made to the 23-year-old guard.
Had San Antonio not pulled its offer, Walker would have entered restricted free agency, giving the Spurs an opportunity to match any offer sheet submitted by other teams. San Antonio’s decision opened the door for Walker to hit unrestricted free agency.
The Lakers moved quickly to add the four-year veteran and 18th pick of the 2018 NBA Draft.
Free agent Troy Brown Jr. has also agreed to a minimum deal with the Lakers, per Charania.
Like Walker, Brown is entering his fifth NBA season. He’s played sparingly as a defensive-minded swingman for the Washington Wizards and Chicago Bulls.
He averaged 4.3 points and 3.1 rebounds last season for Chicago.
In 70 games with six starts, Walker averaged a career-high 12.1 points, in addition to producing a career-best 2.2 assists per game. The most athletic player on San Antonio’s roster during his four-year tenure, Walker started in 56 of his 208 career games.
Spurs general manager Brian Wright recently discussed the “consistency [Walker] brought, especially in the second half of the season.” But Walker fell into a logjam of young up-and-coming players looking for minutes, as San Antonio drafted three players in the first round that it intends to keep on the roster for 2021-22.