The future of Lonnie Walker IV with the San Antonio Spurs became very much in doubt after the pair of late first-round picks the team had were used to select guards.
It became even more challenging for the Spurs to justify retaining Walker after the executing the trade to send Dejounte Murray to the Atlanta Hawks for a return built on draft picks. Committing more salary at the start of a rebuild wouldn't have been the best application of spending.
Walker seemingly saw the writing on the wall and felt the best career move would be to depart the Spurs for a team more in need of his services. He went on to sign with the Los Angeles Lakers on a one-year, $6.5 million contract.
According to Spurs Talk, the Spurs were asked by Walker to rescind the qualifying offer to allow him to become an unrestricted free agent. Otherwise, he would have been a restricted free agent with San Antonio having the option of matching whatever he signs.
According to a person close to the situation, Walker asked the Spurs to rescind the qualifying offer so that he could maximize his value in free agency by becoming an unrestricted free agent. As it turned out, Walker’s contract with the Lakers (one year for $6.5 million) was basically identical to his qualifying offer.
Walker offered some intriguing highs with his ability to score, but he never managed to provide consistently efficient production. Given San Antonio has various options signed to rookie contracts, seeing what they have in those talents is best.
With the Lakers, Walker will play off-ball often and must shoot better than the 31.4 percent clip he converted from beyond the arc with the Spurs last season. As a career 34.3 percent shooter from 3-point range, it's pivotal he shows consistency next to high-level talents like LeBron James, Russell Westbrook, and Anthony Davis.
You can follow Grant Afseth on Twitter at @GrantAfseth.
Want the latest in breaking news and insider information on the Spurs? Click here.
Follow Inside The Spurs on Facebook here
Follow Inside the Spurs on Twitter @InsideTheSpurs