In an effort to shed some salary and improve the roster simultaneously, the Los Angeles Lakers made some drastic changes before the NBA trade deadline on March 15. Multiple moves were made, money was saved and the roster was improved. Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak had pulled off another miracle once again.
The first move that was made was to bring in up-and-coming point guard Ramon Sessions to help improve the backcourt. As a result, the Lakers traded veterans Luke Walton and Jason Kapono to the Cleveland Cavaliers along with a first-round draft pick.
The move was a brilliant one as the Lakers brought in the point guard they had coveted and were able to shed salary while sending players to Cleveland that were highly overpaid for their role off the bench.
After the deal became official, Walton’s career in the league was basically over in terms of playing for a contender. As if that weren’t bad enough, the Cavs have no intention of using him in a predominant role moving forward.
With multiple injuries over the past few years and a serious lack of any kind of impact on the floor, Walton had finally become the journeyman that everyone in Los Angeles knew he would ultimately turn out to be.
Unfortunately for Walton, his fate still remains up in the air in Cleveland as the team seemingly has no intention of buying out the last year of his contract, even though the roster currently is two players of the maximum of 15 according to Mary Schmitt Boyer of The Plain Dealer via Twitter:
#Cavs also not expected to buy out Luke Walton, according to two NBA sources
— M.S. Boyer/J. Valade (@PDcavsinsider) August 19, 2012
At this point in time there seems to be no method to the madness of the Cavs’ front office in terms of dealing with Walton. With the two-time NBA champion currently fourth on the depth chart at small forward, there’s literally no use for the veteran as he will seldom see the floor next season.
Although his immediate future with the Cavs is uncertain, it appears to be a foregone conclusion that Walton will end up coaching in some form or another down the road. The veteran forward’s skills on the floor may have greatly diminished over the years, but his basketball I.Q. is as strong as ever and that may transcend to the coaching ranks on the collegiate or professional level as some point.
In case you missed it – check out our interview with AC Green!