Luke Walton received a phone call from Los Angeles Lakers’ GM Mitch Kupchak one minute after midnight on July 1st, the first opportunity a team is able to contact free agent players this summer. With the assurance that the Lakers were still very interested in keeping him on the roster, Walton agreed to sign a 6-year, $30 million contract with the only team he has ever played for. Walton has become an integral part of Coach Phil Jackson’s triangle offense and his ability to play with Kobe Bryant makes him even more attractive for the Lakers, who are struggling with trade demands from their leading scorer.
In separate news, Jason Kapono will become the first player to leave his team from last year, agreeing to a 4-year, $24 million contract with the Toronto Raptors. Kapono had one of the greatest seasons in NBA history from the three-point line while coming off the bench for the Miami Heat. Toronto will be the fourth stop in four seasons for Kapono, who has also played for the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Charlotte Bobcats before signing with Miami.