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Washington Wizards President of Basketball Operations Ernie Grunfeld announced today that the team has signed Samaki Walker to a contract. Per team policy, terms of the contract were not released.
“Samaki Walker will provide our team with very good depth in the frontcourt,” said Grunfeld. “And perhaps the most important assets he brings to our team will be his veteran leadership and playoff experience, both of which will be very valuable to our young players.”
Walker has appeared in 48 playoff games during his eight-year career and won an NBA World Championship with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2002.
Selected by the Dallas Mavericks in the first round, 9th overall, of the 1996 NBA Draft, Walker averaged 6.6 points and 4.8 rebounds in three seasons with the team. His had his best season as a pro while a Maverick when he averaged 8.9 points and 7.4 rebounds in the 1997-98 season.
Walker signed with the San Antonio Spurs prior to the 1999 season, appearing in 132 games over two seasons and averaging 5.2 points and 3.9 rebounds. He joined the Los Angeles Lakers in 2001, starting 63 of the 69 games he appeared in and averaging 6.7 points, seven rebounds and 1.28 blocks, helping the Lakers with their third straight NBA Championship.
The 6-9 forward spent the 2003-04 season with the Miami Heat, appearing in 33 games and averaging 3.2 points and 3.4 rebounds per game. In his eight-year NBA career, Walker is averaging 5.5 points and 4.9 rebounds.
Walker entered the 1996 NBA Draft after two years at Louisville, where he averaged 14.3 points, 7.3 rebounds and 2.42 blocks in 50 career games. He was named the Metro Athletic Conference Freshman of the Year in 1995 and recorded the only triple-double in Louisville history as a freshman recording 14 points, 10 rebounds and a school record 11 blocked shot versus Kentucky (1/1/95). He was a participant on the USA Team in the 1995 Junior World Championships in Greece.