Now that the season is officially over for the Los Angeles Lakers, the attention will now turn to what the team will do in the offseason to turn things around. There are a lot of questions surrounding the roster and who will be returning and who won’t. One player who never got the opportunity to show what he could do in purple and gold is guard Kendrick Nunn.
Nunn signed a two-year deal last offseason, but never stepped foot on the court for the Lakers during the regular season after suffering a bone bruise in his knee during the preseason. Despite continually trying to ramp things up and get on the court, it was never meant to be and now Nunn enters the offseason with a decision to make.
The young guard has a player option for next season worth $5.25 million and could enter free agency if he so chooses to. But he made it very clear in his exit interview that he plans on exercising that option.
“Knowing that I just took this entire year off it’s a no-brainer for me to opt-in,” Nunn said in front of Lakers media.
It’s hard to argue with Nunn’s mindset on all fronts. It is possible that he feels like he owes it to the Lakers to come back and make good on the second year of his deal after being unable to contribute this season. And financially, his market is likely much lower after an injury kept him out all year long.
The question moving forward for Nunn is if he will be able to make that return next season and he is confident he will be able to do just that.
“Absolutely,” Nunn added. “Like I said I feel pretty healthy now and I’ll definitely take this summer to do my work and be prepared for next season.”
While eyes will obviously be on the Lakers making some bigger moves this summer, getting Nunn on the court regardless of what else happens, is a huge deal for the Lakers. Nunn averaged 15 points per game in his two years in Miami while knocking down over 36% from 3-point range and is known as an above-average defender, which the Lakers sorely lacked on the perimeter.
The Lakers are in dire need of young, two-way perimeter players and Nunn fits the bill on that front and will be just 27 years old when next season begins. At that price, the Lakers can’t do much better than a motivated Nunn who will be looking to remind the world of how good he is.
Nunn believes he could have helped Lakers this year
Making it even more difficult for Nunn was having to watch his team’s season go downhill and be unable to help. He admits he still thinks about how he could have helped the Lakers this season if healthy.
“I mean I had those thoughts. Still do,” Nunn noted. “Just knowing that I can contribute in many ways. Bring that youth ability to this roster was a big one for me. The effort plays and my tenacity, and the way I play the game, could’ve definitely helped us.”
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