During NBA free agency, the Los Angeles Lakers signed Lonnie Walker IV, Damian Jones, Troy Brown Jr., and Juan Toscano-Anderson.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Lakers launched free agency on Thursday with a flurry of moves targeted at getting younger, more athletic, more defensively focused, a stark contrast to their roster construction a year ago, which included big-name veterans and resulted in one of the franchise’s most dismal seasons.

Lonnie Walker IV was signed to a one-year contract worth $6.5 million by Los Angeles, according to his agent, Rich Paul of Klutch Sports.

 

The Lakers also agreed to three veteran minimum contracts.

 

Center Damian Jones, who appeared in eight games for the Lakers during the 2020-21 season, has signed a two-year deal with a player option for the second year, according to his agent, Austin Brown of CAA Basketball.

A team source confirmed to ESPN that Troy Brown Jr., a 6-foot-6 wing with a 6-10 reach, had signed to a one-year contract.

Erika Ruiz of Klutch Sports verified to ESPN’s Kendra Andrews that Juan Toscano-Anderson has agreed to a one-year contract.

 

According to ESPN, L.A. first offered Malik Monk the taxpayer midlevel exception before shifting its focus to Walker when Monk signed to the entire midlevel exception on a two-year, $19 million deal with the Kings.

 

Walker, 23, spent the last four seasons with the San Antonio Spurs after being taken with the 18th overall pick in 2018. Last season, he scored 12.1 points, 2.6 rebounds, and 2.2 assists while shooting only 31.4 percent from long, but in 2019-20, he hit 40.6 percent from deep, albeit on fewer attempts.

Walker was not extended a qualifying offer by San Antonio, allowing him to become a restricted free agent and enter the market.

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Last season, Jones, 27, averaged 8.1 points on 65.8 percent shooting and 4.4 rebounds for the Sacramento Kings.

 

He averaged 5.4 points on an astounding 94.1 percent from the field and 3.3 rebounds per game during his tenure with the Lakers two seasons ago, when he signed a pair of 10-day contracts while the Lakers were battling with injuries.

 

According to ESPN, Brown, 22, averaged 4.3 points and 3.1 rebounds for the Chicago Bulls last season and was expected to be a switchable defender under new coach Darvin Ham’s scheme.

Toscano-Anderson, 29, is fresh off a title with the Golden State Warriors. During the regular season, he averaged 4.1 points on 48.9 percent shooting, 2.4 rebounds, and 1.7 assists, although he was utilised sparingly during the Warriors’ title run in the playoffs.

According to ESPN, the Lakers’ next aim as the offseason begins is to improve their outside shooting. Last season, Los Angeles ranked 22nd in the league in 3-point shooting, making only 34.7 percent of its tries.

 


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