Many of the signings made by the Los Angeles Lakers were veterans well into their careers, but one of the few younger players to be brought into the fold was a bit of a surprise in former Miami Heat guard Kendrick Nunn.
Originally a restricted free agent, the Heat pulled their qualifying offer from Nunn making him unrestricted, and the Lakers swooped in with a two-year deal.
Nunn played a big role in his two seasons with the Heat, starting the majority of his games, being a solid defender and scorer who is capable of spreading the floor. As an unrestricted free agent, Nunn could have been in line for a much bigger payday, but he instead joined the Lakers.
A lot of players may have gone to a slightly lesser situation who maybe don’t have the championship aspirations that the Lakers do but can offer more money, but Nunn chose not to. In his words, it wasn’t a difficult decision to do so.
“It wasn’t that hard to be honest. I’m a guy that knows how to sacrifice for the better of the team,” Nunn said in a recent press conference. “I know how to do that and I’m willing to do that. It’s not about myself. It’s a team sport and I want to win. That’s what I play this game for: to win.”
Sacrificing for the betterment of the team has been a theme for the Lakers over the past couple of years. The franchise has tended to build a deep roster and the rotation can often change based on any number of reasons which can cause minutes to go up and down. Being willing to accept that and make that sacrifice is not something every player is willing to do, but it has to happen if a team plans on hoisting the Larry O’Brien trophy at the end of the year.
As far as what Nunn brings to the table, Nunn plans on more of what he’s already shown. “Just being myself,” the guard added. “Obviously you guys seen me play and know what I did in previous years. I just want to expand on that and continue to be consistent throughout the entire year with what I bring to the game.”
The key word is consistency. The Lakers’ role players have had moments over the past two years, but have often been inconsistent. If Nunn can give the Lakers consistent defense and shooting, he will surely lock in a spot in the rotation.
Nunn’s offseason mindset is to get better
At only 26 years old with just two seasons of NBA experience, Nunn is still early in his career with plenty of room to improve. And that is exactly what he is working hard to do this summer.
“Mindset going into the offseason was personally as a player just to get better. I wanted to expand my game and work on my game to get better. Obviously free agency was in place and obviously we couldn’t get that deal worked out with the Heat, my previous team, and I signed here with the Lakers.”
With the Heat adding Kyle Lowry amongst other moves for returning players, Nunn suddenly became available and the Lakers were quick to add a player who could make a huge difference this season.
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