Report: Lonnie Walker IV agrees to one-year, $6.5M deal with Lakers

Phoenix Suns' Devin Booker, left, looks to pass the ball as he is defended by San Antonio Spurs' Lonnie Walker IV during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Monday, Nov. 22, 2021, in San Antonio. (Darren Abate/AP)

Unrestricted free agent Lonnie Walker IV agreed to a one-year, $6.5 million deal with the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday, according to The Athletic's Shams Charania.

The signing comes hours after the San Antonio Spurs pulled the guard's qualifying offer, making him an unrestricted free agent.

The Spurs had tendered Walker a qualifying offer just one day earlier, a decision that would have made him a restricted free agent and given San Antonio the option to match any offer that was fielded to him. Historically, the Spurs have gone this route even for players they did not intend to re-sign, giving the team more control over the situation.

The decision to change course on the qualifying offer comes in the wake of the Spurs trading Dejounte Murray, the All-Star guard who was poised to be a part of the team's long-term future, to the Atlanta Hawks, signalling San Antonio's intention to embrace a full rebuild after years of treading water in the post-Kawhi Leonard era.

With a downhill game suited for getting into the paint and creating offence, Walker joins the Lakers' backcourt alongside Russell Westbrook (who exercised his $47.1 million player option for the 2022-23 season), Talen Horton-Tucker, and Kendrick Nunn.

In 70 games last season, Walker averaged 12.1 points on 40.7 per cent shooting from the floor, including 31.4 per cent from long range.

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