Kendrick Nunn will be back with the Lakers next season — and this season should be able to contribute on the court.
Nunn, who missed all of last season due to a bone bruise in his right knee, picked up his $5.25 million option and will return to the Lakers next season, reports Dave McMenamin at ESPN. This was expected.
Nunn signed with the Lakers last summer after the Heat pulled his qualifying offer. Nunn, a talented scorer who plays solid defense at both guard spots, signed with the Lakers for the taxpayer mid-level exception and was supposed to be a key part of their backcourt depth.
Even after this move, Rob Pelinka and the Lakers have a lot of roster building to do. That includes trying to trade Russell Westbrook, although bringing him back is more and more looking like the reality.
Right now, LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Talen Horton-Tucker, Austin Reaves, and Nunn are officially under contract. Russell Westbrook will make that six when he picks up his $47 million option for next season. The Lakers are expected to pick up team options on Stanley Johnson and Wenyen Gabriel.
That still makes just eight players under contract, with the Lakers needing to fill in at least six more roster spots, and they will have the taxpayer mid-level exception ($6.4 million) and minimum contracts to do it. The top-heavy construction of the roster — Davis, LeBron and Westbrook each make at least $38 million — makes putting together any trades very difficult.