It’s the fourth free agent deal the Lakers have made official since the start of free agency last week. Minimum-salary contracts, like the ones signed by Damian Jones, Juan Toscano-Anderson, and Troy Brown, can become official during the July moratorium, but Walker’s one-year, $6.5MM contract is being completed using L.A.’s taxpayer mid-level exception and had to wait until the moratorium lifted today.
Walker, the 18th pick of the 2018 draft, spent his first four seasons with the Spurs. The 23-year-old has displayed a ton of athleticism and has shown glimpses of potential since his entering the NBA, but struggled with his scoring efficiency last season, posting a .407/.314/.784 shooting line.
In 70 games (23 MPG) with San Antonio in 2021/22, Walker averaged 12.1 PPG, 2.6 RPG and 2.2 APG.
The Spurs decided to withdraw Walker’s qualifying offer just before free agency opened, making him an unrestricted free agent and clearing a path for him to sign with any team.
Walker should have an opportunity to play a regular rotation role on a revamped Lakers roster and will be looking to build his value back up before he returns to free agency in 2023. He said today that he’d welcome the opportunity to start for L.A., but his primary focus is winning (Twitter link via Kyle Goon of The Southern California News Group).