The Los Angeles Lakers have used their taxpayer mid-level exception on another young guard, landing Kendrick Nunn from the Miami Heat on a two-year, $10 million deal, per Shams Charania of The Athletic.
Nunn reportedly turned down “significantly” more money to sign with the Lakers and chase a title, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
Free agent guard Kendrick Nunn has agreed to a two-year deal with the Los Angeles Lakers, source tells ESPN. Deal includes a player option. Nunn turned down significantly more money to chase a title with the Lakers.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) August 3, 2021
Nunn's deal has a player option in Year 2. He turned down more money with the Knicks and other teams to join the Lakers. https://t.co/rQbY7PI0XJ— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) August 3, 2021
Nunn averaged 14.6 points and 3.2 rebounds per game while shooting 38.1% from the 3-point line and 48.5% from the field in 56 games last season. After Malik Monk, he is the second young guard to join the Lakers on Tuesday with the goal of proving themselves.
He also fills the hole in the Lakers lineup at backup point guard, likely set to serve in that role behind Russell Westbrook this season. Along with Monk and Talen Horton-Tucker, Nunn is another one of the few young players on the Lakers, as he turned 26 years old on Tuesday.
With Miami, Nunn played almost exclusively as a point guard, ranking in the 88th percentile as a spot-up shooter and grading out in the 92nd percentile on unguarded catch-and-shoot jumpers. He also ran a heavy amount of pick and roll, but ranked in the 47th percentile in effectiveness. In Los Angeles alongside Westbrook and LeBron James, though, his role will likely predominantly be as a shooter.
Prior to the NBA, Nunn went undrafted after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor battery charge stemming from a domestic-battery arrest. He was kicked off the University of Illinois basketball team as a result.
On the court, this signing has merit for the Lakers as another spacer and shooter — something the Lakers have clearly prioritized this offseason — but it comes with legitimate red flags off the court as well that can’t be ignored, and may have to be answered for at some point.