Walton to stay with Lakers after agreeing to 6-year, $30 million deal

Updated: July 3, 2007, 11:55 AM ET
By Chris Sheridan | ESPN.com

Luke Walton reached agreement Sunday with the Los Angeles Lakers on a six-year, $30 million contract after general manager Mitch Kupchak placed a call one minute after midnight to express the team's interest in retaining its best unrestricted free agent.

Luke Walton

Walton

Small Forward
Los Angeles Lakers

Profile

2007 Season Stats
GM PPG RPG APG FG% FT%
60 11.4 5.0 4.3 .474 .745

"They called at the earliest possible moment, and we worked on it all day," agent Lon Babby said. "They wanted him back, and Luke wanted to be there. We wanted to make every effort to get an agreement before we went out and looked at any other teams."

Another of Babby's clients, Grant Hill, had one of his more lucrative options taken away when the Toronto Raptors decided to spend their mid-level exception on Miami Heat sharpshooter Jason Kapono.

Babby said Hill's list of possible teams now includes, in no particular order, Detroit, Miami, Phoenix, San Antonio and Orlando.

"The financial considerations are fairly low on his list of priorities. He wants the opportunity to play on a championship team, and if he has to make a financial sacrifice, he would do that," Babby said.

Chris Sheridan covers the NBA for ESPN Insider.

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