HoopsHype Luke Walton rumors


October 3, 2013 Updates

Time Warner Cable SportsNet is excited to announce that Lakers legend Byron Scott and Lakers favorite Luke Walton have joined the network’s on-air team. The two have 39 years of combined NBA experience and five Lakers NBA Championship rings and Walton played in the NBA as recently as last season. Scott and Walton join former Lakers James Worthy and Robert Horry to give Time Warner Cable SportsNet a total of 15 NBA Championships and members of Lakers teams from the past four decades. NBA.com

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But Walton was the glue that held the Cavaliers' second unit together, before all the injuries decimated the Cavs rotation. "I think he's done fantastic this year for us,'' Cavs coach Byron Scott said of Walton. "I got a lot more out of him than I thought we would ever get out of him." Walton, who will marry former Arizona volleyball player Bre Ladd this summer, is in the last year of his contract. He would like to continue to play, whether here or elsewhere. Scott thinks he still has a lot to offer. "I thought his experience was invaluable. I thought his presence in the locker room was unbelievable. His demeanor with the guys, the way he communicates with our guys ... they've got a lot of respect for what he's gone through and what he's done.'' Cleveland Plain Dealer

That's one of the reasons why Pastner hired Walton as an assistant, but there were others -- besides the instant credibility a two-time NBA champion brought. "Luke's got a tremendous personality,'' Pastner said. "People are attracted to him because of his personality. He's easygoing. He's easy to talk to. He's down to earth and I think he's got a really good feel for people.'' Said Tomey, "Everybody likes Luke. He knows how to get along with people. He's genuine and honest. He's a breath of fresh air.'' Cleveland Plain Dealer

March 18, 2013 Updates
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Walton’s back feels so good, he thinks he can play in the NBA another couple of seasons. And to the surprise of both Walton and the Cavs, this relationship could extend beyond this season. Walton was a money dump when the Los Angeles Lakers traded him to the Cavs at the deadline last season. The Lakers were thrilled to get out from under the $6 million owed him for this season, and most expected he would sit on the end of the Cavs bench and collect a check before drifting off into retirement. Even Walton thought that’s how it might go. “With the amount of back pain I’ve had the previous four or five years, I was going to give it everything I had this year, and if my back acted up, I was going to retire,” Walton said. “Now that my back has been feeling much better, I’m enjoying this.” Akron Beacon Journal

To the surprise of most everyone, he doesn’t have to worry about that right now. He has more games to play — maybe even with the Cavs. He would have to take a veteran’s minimum contract to return here, something he understands and is even receptive to doing. “I’ve made my money,” he said. Scott believes there is a place on this roster for Walton next season — albeit in a reduced role given that two more first-round picks will be added to this team over the summer. For now, Walton is receptive to the idea. “I’m enjoying this,” he said. “I think this core group of people here and this coaching staff are doing some really good things and it’s a lot of fun to be a part of. I haven’t really gotten that far into it yet, but I’m still focusing on trying to stay healthy and having fun playing this game and helping this team become better. But I love playing with these guys.” Akron Beacon Journal

There were rumors during training camp the Cavs could buy out the final year on Walton’s deal and send him on his way. But Scott liked what he saw in camp, liked the way Walton was moving and surprised everyone when Walton debuted with the Cavs’ second unit on opening night. He has remained there much of the season. Walton has never been much of a scorer, but his vision and passing ability are remarkable. He had a career-high 12 assists in a loss to the New York Knicks, including nine in the first half, and is averaging 5.8 assists in the Cavs’ past five games. He routinely hits guys on the run, makes passes between his legs and behind his back. “I think he’s the best passing forward in the league,” Scott said, even comparing Walton’s passing ability with Hall of Famer Magic Johnson. “Luke is not on that level, but he’s probably the closest thing I’ve ever played with … probably closest to Magic. But he’s still a ways away.” Akron Beacon Journal

January 27, 2013 Updates

The Cavs' trade with Memphis illustrated what a team armed with cap space can accomplish. Whenever a team can turn Jon Leuer into Marreese Speights and a first-round pick, it's a win. The deal was lopsided and a feather in Grant's cap. The Grizzlies needed to get under the luxury-tax threshold. His last two transactions have helped re-shape the team. His waiver claim of journeyman Shaun Livingston was also a shrewd move. Grant will be on the prowl for more young talent at the Feb. 21 deadline. Three players with expiring contracts, Luke Walton, Daniel Gibson and Omri Casspi, could be moved. ESPN's Marc Stein said not to be surprised if the Cavs flop Speights to another team at the deadline. News-Herald

January 13, 2013 Updates

With Varejao now removed from the equation, various front office executives around the league polled this week believe the Cavs’ plan will remain unchanged. They have tried unsuccessfully for three years to rent their cap space to another team willing to give up a first-round pick in an effort to shed an unwanted contract, and that will continue to be the plan for the next month. They have Luke Walton’s $6 million expiring contract and about $10 million in cap space to shop as a few teams around the league begin scrambling to avoid the league’s stiffer cap penalties. The Cavs’ parameters, however, are a little more complex than they were the last couple of years. With the summer of 2014 quickly approaching, the length of a contract the Cavs will absorb is now limited. Akron Beacon Journal

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League sources said bluntly, that anything involving Varejao is also going to have to move out Luke Walton and his $6 million ending contract and return youth and draft picks. That might be too much to ask, so it’s more likely that Varejao stays where he is, but you never know how another team may view him, especially as the trade deadline gets closer. HoopsWorld

November 1, 2012 Updates

Luke Walton doesn't think Phil Jackson will coach again. "I think he'll get involved in basketball, but as far as the travel, and all the long practices and preparation, I don't think he will. Maybe if the right circumstance presents itself. But my gut instinct is that he won't." Walton, a forward for the Cavs, played for the Lakers from 2003-12. Jackson coached the Lakers for all but the 2005-06 season during that span (and for the nine games that Walton played in L.A. last year). "There were times you'd be furious with Coach Jackson, but he was a great coach and a great motivator," Walton said. "But I learned a lot from him. So I think a lot of his stuff was drilled into my personality." Sulia

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