NBA Experience: 8 years
Contract Status: Signed thru 2012-13
2010-11 Averages: 1.7ppg, 1.2rpg, 1.1apg, 32% FG, 23% 3PT, 70% FT
Hard to believe but there was once a point in time where Luke Walton was worth the $5-million he’s banking and was actually a sought after commodity. Hindsight usually being better than foresight Mitch Kupchak probably wants that deal back.
Injuries and age have taken their toll on Luke. But let’s be honest, were it not for the triangle offense chances are Walton would have never earned a contract the likes of which he has now.
To be sure Luke is a great passer, has a fantastic feel for the game and has been a crowd favorite at Staples for sometime now. However his production continues to dip as he seems perpetually stuck rehabbing an injury of some kind.
At this point there is nothing the Lakers can do with Luke’s contract. He still has two years left so nobody is going to take on the non-expiring deal of a roster filler.
No telling what the new CBA will bring but in order for the Lakers to improve the roster they’ve got to do something with Luke’s deal. More than likely there won’t be much of a role for him under Mike Brown. But you truly never know. At 31 Walton is no longer a player with much of any upside. Still, he is as smart a ball player as you’ll come across and if he’s healthy enough to practice then he still can provide something to the team.
It really is unfortunate that Walton’s career has followed a somewhat similar path to that of his father. Initially Kupchak was fielding a lot of calls by teams looking to acquire Luke. Now, it is very hard to justify Walton’s career average of 5ppg versus his career earnings of $22-million.