Monday , Jul , 02 , 2007 Oly Sandor

L.A. Lakers Re-Sign Luke Walton, Forward Blends With Stars Like Kobe Bryant

The Lakers and Walton have agreed on a six year, 30 million dollar contract … The forward is a great passer who complements star players … But did the club pay too much? … What happens when Coach Phil Jackson retires and L.A.’s new sideline boss wants an athletic small-forward? … Click here for news and analysis …

ESPN reports on the Lakers re-signing Luke Walton:

Luke Walton reached agreement Sunday with the Los Angeles Lakers on a six-year, $30 million contract after general manager Mitch Kupchak placed a call one minute after midnight to express the team’s interest in retaining its best unrestricted free agent.

The L.A. Times Lakers blog comments on this transaction:

Luke Walton: 6 years, 30 million bucks.  Assuming nothing nutty happens, ’tis official.  And fairly predictable.  He wanted to stay.  The Lakers wanted to keep him.  Bird Rights.  Lengthy contract, but the money’s not ridiculous by today’s NBA standards.  There you have it.

My Quick Take: I agree with the analysis above. Walton and the both wanted to continue their relationship together. He got some decent money, but, hey, deserves as much cash as L.A. forward/snowboarder .

I’ve always liked Walton’s game. He’s not a star and never does anything spectacular. Yet, he understands how to play with and defer to star teammates like Kobe Bryant.

Being able to blend with superstars is important. After all, the Lakers have to provide elite talent to appease the Hollywood crowds. And cool-hand Luke’s passing ability keeps star players happy. For example, four years ago, in the NBA Finals, Shaq wanted Walton feeding him the ball down low.

I’m not sure about the length of the contract. Six years is a long time. What happens if Coach Phil Jackson retires after this season? The new sideline boss might favor an up-tempo system, which would be difficult for Walton’s skill set. However, this is an unknown.

Right now, the Walton signing looks pretty good.

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