Choosing first isn’t a guarantee to make your group better. History can prove it a lot of guys in the league became busts. Recently it was Anthony Bennett for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Even Andrew Wiggins can be on the same discussion if we refer to his draft expectation year ago. That’s why the Spurs continue to win games and playing in the playoffs. The front office is really fortunate when they choose players who can fit the culture.
With the last four drafts, they selected into the late first round. First Dejounte Murray in 2016 which is still raw but already showing how good he is if develop his range. Next is Derrick White who exploded last season to give the Spurs another hope. Last year Lonnie Walker IV that Bufford said they want this kid and they are willing to make a trade to move up. Luckily, to them, they get what they want.
Lonnie proved tanking isn’t an option to be a better squad. They only need playing time on the court to perform at the next level. Walker takes advantage of everything. He attacked the basket relentlessly, he doesn’t care if he shares the court with two former MVPs. His spirits never fade when they are down big.
Walker gives a little momentum before the third quarter ends. He just scored five points on that frame but he keeps the team on manageable distance in the fourth. Less than two minutes of regulation down by eight he gets the ball and attacks the rim for a layup. The next possession he put another three with 41 seconds and another with eight seconds to go to tie. Note that Walker is the guy who stops Harden and forced to take a long-contested three.
He is balling on his last two games with limited minutes. That was all loss where the game was all blowout. It’s a sign for Walker that he needs minutes to help his team. Outshining the two former MVPs in the most grasp situation. Pressing the league’s leading scorer to take bad shot after bad shot is a thing of beauty.
Spurs already perfect the draft that other franchise trying to imitate. They pick a handful of players that had potential, value character, work hard and giving back to his community. That was Walker did in San Antonio. His character is were perfectly suited to Pop culture. He never complains when Popovich said he is one of the worst at that time. Lonnie didn’t say against Pop or never requested minutes. He keeps on working into his game, translates the handwork into the court. Slowly, that was he did. Until the time that he explodes.
We can observe the same treatment with Murray and White. These two never complaining about the minutes they get and who should start. Lonnie Walker IV the guy with the most upside were the Spurs now and future. It’s a good thing to see him dedicated himself to the franchise.