The Lakers didn't have much in terms of cap space for free agents. Rob Pelinka and his staff, armed with only the veteran exception and taxpayer mid-level exception ($6.5M) were in no position to lure a star free agent to Los Angeles.
Prior to the start of free agency, The Athletic's Jovan Buha noted that LA was going to prioritize 3-and-D wing players with their limited cap space, but less than two hours into free agency on Thursday, the Lakers used their mid-level exception on career shooting guard Lonnie Walker IV.
The Athletic's Shams Charania was one of the first to report the signing.
Walker was originally drafted by the Spurs in the first round of the 2018 draft with the 18th overall pick. The University of Miami product averaged 12.1 points per game last year for San Antonio in 23.0 MPG. Walker shot 40.7% from the field and 31.4% from three.
However, in his first three seasons in the NBA, Walker shot 36.9% from three and it appears the Lakers are banking on those numbers moreso than his 2021-2022 campaign.
The 6'4" guard is only 23-year-old so there's potentially some upside with the signing, but the Lakers using their mid-level exception for a guard, and not a wing, was certainly a surprise for some Lakers fans.
In addition to Walker, the Lakers also signed Troy Brown Jr. and Damian Jones to deals to help fill out a Lakers roster that as of 4PM on Thursday afternoon, still has four roster spots to fill.