Lakers guard Kendrick Nunn has elected to pick up his player option for the 2022-23 season, sources tell Dave McMenamin of ESPN. We knew this was coming, since Nunn referred to the decision as a “no-brainer” back in April. The option will pay Nunn a salary of $5.25M.
After spending two-plus seasons in Miami, Nunn signed a two-year, $10.25M deal with the Lakers during the 2021 offseason, but a knee issue sidelined him for the entire 2021-22 campaign. The injury was one of many factors that contributed to Los Angeles’ struggles this past year, as the team didn’t get anything out of the player it used its mid-level exception to sign.
Nunn is expected to be on the trade block this offseason and may never end up appearing in a regular-season game for the Lakers. But if he returns and if he’s fully healthy, he could still be an asset in L.A.’s backcourt.
The 26-year-old averaged 15.0 PPG, 3.0 APG and 2.9 RPG on .458/.364/.881 shooting in 123 games (29.4 MPG) with Miami from 2019-21.
With Nunn’s salary locked in, the Lakers will have four players on guaranteed contracts for next season — LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Talen Horton-Tucker and Nunn. We can safely pencil in Russell Westbrook to that group too, since there’s virtually no chance he’ll turn down his $47M-plus player option. Austin Reaves (non-guaranteed contract) and Stanley Johnson (team option) are also good bets to return, but L.A. will still need to fill out about half its roster, with limited resources to do so.