HoopsHype Luke Walton rumors

July 9, 2012 Updates
April 8, 2012 Updates

It doesn't appear as if forward Luke Walton has much left in the tank. The 6-8 forward was once a productive player with the Lakers. The Cavs have been playing him at power forward. He seems to be more of a "3." News-Herald

March 29, 2012 Updates

The hefty contract of Walton, which pays him $6.1 million for one more season, was in many ways the price for getting another first-round selection. For the 6-8 forward, however, it represents a chance to resurrect a career withering at the end of Mike Brown's bench. Walton, who has a history of back problems, said he was called into Brown's office two days prior to the start of the lockout-shortened season and told he would not be part of the rotation. "It took me by complete surprise, but what are you going to do?" Walton said. "The frustrating part is it's completely out of your hands." Cleveland Plain Dealer

March 25, 2012 Updates

Cavs forwards Luke Walton and Omri Casspi are candidates to be bought out of their contracts this summer. Walton might be reluctant to take anything less than the $6.1 million he’s owed because he’s a minimum player — at best — at this stage of his career. Casspi is owed $2.3 million next year. He could return to Europe, which might be his best option. Morning Journal

March 15, 2012 Updates
March 8, 2012 Updates

He has won two championship rings and played in two other NBA Finals. Luke Walton doesn't know what to do these days. "This is my ninth year, and this is probably the toughest one," the Lakers forward said. He's the forgotten man of the Lakers, idling at the end of the bench in the first year of the Mike Brown era. The Lakers have played 39 games. Walton has appeared in nine, lowest on the team. "The last couple of years, my back's been hurting so I couldn't really complain about [playing time]. My back actually feels good this year," he said. "Not having an opportunity to help the fellas has been real tough. When we practice and I can hang out with the guys, and travel, everything's great. It's game days where I find it real hard to fall asleep at night. That's when it gets difficult. "But it's out of my control." Los Angeles Times

Walton understands that he makes a good living, taking home $5.7 million this season and $5.8 million next season, the final part of the six-year, $30 -million contract he signed in 2007 after averaging a career-high 11.4 points. He'd like to feel he was earning it. "I want to play, badly," he said. "Basketball is the biggest part of my life and that's what I really, thoroughly enjoy doing." Los Angeles Times

January 16, 2012 Updates
January 11, 2012 Updates

Luke Walton has become a cross to bear in the eyes of many Lakers fans with a contract paying him $5.7 million this season and $5.8 million next season. But Walton’s back problems have eased up this season, and he showed glimpses in the first half Tuesday night against Phoenix of what he once was: a heady player with good handle and great feel for where his teammates are on the floor. Because Josh McRoberts (toe) and Troy Murphy (stomach) were unavailable, Walton got a chance and did well enough to play 13-plus minutes in the first half for new coach Mike Brown, even though Walton in his career has mostly been connected to Phil Jackson. Orange County Register

January 2, 2012 Updates

Luke Walton has learned that a coach's work is never done. Nearly a month after he left his job as a temporary assistant at the University of Memphis to rejoin the Lakers, Walton continues to coach from afar. "I get random texts from certain [players] and after a game, if I'm able to watch it, I'll send some texts out to some of the guys with some thoughts," Walton said. College basketball used to be an afterthought to Walton except during the NCAA tournament. Not anymore. Now Walton said he will watch the Tigers whenever he can, even if it means finding a sports bar with satellite television. He also continues to correspond with Memphis Coach Josh Pastner, a former teammate of Walton's at Arizona. Los Angeles Times

Walton said working as an assistant intensified his interest in coaching after his playing career ends. He is under contract for two more seasons with the Lakers. "It was a lot more challenging than I thought — the hours were a lot longer than I realized," Walton said, "but I had a real good time doing it so it definitely made my interest level go up." Los Angeles Times

December 2, 2011 Updates

Walton said his chronically sore back was not forcing him into early retirement. "I expect to be on the court," he said in a phone interview with The Times. "I can fight through any pain I have and finish up the contract. I feel great right now, so there's no reason to believe I won't be able to play and help out the squad." Walton, 31, has two years and $11.5 million left on his contract. World Peace, 32, has three years and $21.5 million remaining. Los Angeles Times

Walton said he ignored reports that he might be waived. "I felt there's a chance it could happen, but everything I've heard is that Mitch [Kupchak] isn't using it this year," Walton said, referring to the Lakers' general manager. "I think it's great. Our team is fine. We don't need big change. If you ask anyone on our team, we feel very confident that our window is not closed and we could win another championship before it does close. "People flip out because we didn't go to the Finals last year, but if you take a step back and look at the big picture, we went to three straight NBA Finals and won two of them. We were the No. 2 seed in the West [last season] and got beat by a good team that ended up winning it all and got really hot against us." Los Angeles Times

December 1, 2011 Updates

Any rumor missing? E-mail us at   hoopshype@hoopshype.com.