NBA Free Agency: Where Ex-Canes Go

National Basketball Association free agency began Thursday at 6 p.m. The Miami Hurricanes were heavily involved.

Three players represented Miami in the 2021-22 NBA season; Bruce Brown, Lonnie Walker, andDaph Reed. All three of those players signed new contracts in the first 24 hours of free agency, with two of them ending up on the same team.

Lonnie Walker IV

After ending his rookie contract with the San Antonio Spurs, Lonnie Walker IV signed a one-year, $6.5 million contract with the Los Angeles Lakers using the mid-level exception.

Walker had his best season in the NBA in 2021-22, averaging 12.1 points and 2.2 assists per game. Despite having the worst three-point season of his career, he brings goals to a Lakers team that struggled with ground clearance last season.

San Antonio originally made Walker a qualifying offer that made him a restricted free agent and gave them the option to bring him back if they were willing to fulfill offers from other teams. They withdrew that offer about 24 hours before free agency officially began.

Walker spent the 2017-18 season with the Hurricanes averaging 11.5 points, 2.6 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 32 games. He had 12 points and two rebounds in a first-round loss to Loyola in the NCAA tournament.

Bruce Brown

Perhaps the biggest news of this trio was that Bruce Brown took a pay cut to sign with the Denver Nuggets. After spending the last two seasons with the Brooklyn Nets, Brown decided to put dysfunction behind him and sign with a team that needed solid role players.

Brown’s deal is for the same amount as Walker’s but also has a second-year player option. The two-year, $13 million deal is a lot smaller than what he could have gotten elsewhere with his great defensive skills and improved offense.

Last season, Brown had a career-best scoring average of 9 points per game while averaging 4.8 rebounds and 2.1 assists. He added 1.1 steals and 0.7 blocks per game while also having his best shot percentage from behind the arc at 40.4 percent.

Brown spent his first two seasons in the NBA with the Detroit Pistons after being selected the 42nd overall pick in the 2018 NBA draft. He was part of a three-team trade in 2020 that sent him to Brooklyn.

Brown spent two seasons with Miami from 2016 to 2018. In 52 games, he averaged 11.7 points, 6.2 rebounds and 3.5 assists. His sophomore season ended early due to injury, but he’s probably best remembered for having two of the three triple-doubles in program history.

Of which reeds

After finding a home in Denver last season, Dazu Reed signed a two-year contract with the Nuggets.

Reed’s career didn’t seem to be headed in the right direction after being eliminated from the league from 2019 to 2021. He was drafted 32nd overall by the Phoenix Suns, released after one season, and then signed a two-way contract with the Indiana Pacers for the 2018-19 season.

It wasn’t until the 2022 Summer League that Denver brought him in late to fill a spot when his NBA career seemed like it had come to an end. But he’s shown that he’s pretty good at a lot of things and the Nuggets can use him in some ways.

He signed three 10-day deals with Denver last season before earning a two-way year-end deal.

He had many moments that were memorable, including suspending LeBron James for multiple possessions, hitting five of seven three-pointers in a win over Golden State, and charging the court too early in a game-winning Aaron Gordon shot against Los Angeles Clippers .

But his solid game at both ends of the floor has led Reed to return to an NBA team for a second season for the first time in his career, after playing more games in 2021-22 than in the previous four seasons combined.

Reed played in Miami for four seasons from 2013 to 2017. In 131 games played, he averaged 10.3 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.6 assists. In his final season, 2016-17, Reed led the team with 14.9 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game.

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