The Los Angeles Lakers continued adding to their backcourt on Tuesday afternoon, signing former Miami Heat combo guard Kendrick Nunn.
Nunn will receive a two-year, $10 million deal from the Lakers, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Los Angeles still had their taxpayer mid-level exception of $5.9 million to spend. Evidently, most of that money is going to Nunn.
Miami pulled their qualifying offer for Nunn on Tuesday, making him an unrestricted free agent. Two hours later, the Lakers pounced.
According to Woj, Nunn turned down money to contend in L.A.
Nunn — who turned 26 on Tuesday, in fact — averaged 15.0 points per game for the Miami Heat over his first two NBA seasons. He’s made 36.4% of his threes in his short career, including 38.1% in 2020-21.
After losing one former undrafted free agent from their backcourt on Monday in Alex Caruso, the Lakers found another in Nunn. (They also now have the option to run a Nunn and Monk backcourt, which is just glorious.)
At exit interviews, Lakers GM Rob Pelinka said he wanted to prioritize shooting and spacing this offseason. His first big splash of the summer, the Russell Westbrook trade, didn’t address that need. However, on the first two days of free agency, Pelinka has backed up those words.
In addition to Nunn, the Lakers have agreed to deals with Wayne Ellington (42.2% from 3 in 2020-21), Carmelo Anthony (40.9%), Malik Monk (40.1%), Kent Bazemore (40.8%), and Trevor Ariza (35%). Marc Gasol, who made 41% of his triples last season, will return for one more go-round.
The Lakers have also greatly improved their free-throw shooting over the past 48 hours.
Minutes before the Nunn signing was announced, the Lakers and Talen Horton-Tucker struck a three-year deal. As one notable Lakers fan famously said, it was a good day for the Lakers.
Los Angeles has undoubtedly sacrificed defense for offense, at least on the perimeter, due to the losses of Caruso, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, likely Dennis Schroder, and possibly Wesley Matthews. They’ll be hoping the frontcourt (buoyed the Dwight Howard and Ariza additions) and Frank Vogel’s acumen can hold together a formidable enough D.