His hair may be goofy, but don’t let that fool you. When the San Antonio Spurs selected him as their 18th pick in last year’s NBA Draft, his hat seemed to float in his head.
He smiles a lot, too. Lonnie Walker IV may look like the happiest person in all of San Antonio, but this is a package that overshadows his seriousness when it’s time to ball. At the tender age of 20, he is slowly exuding the making of a legitimate 2 guard with tons of potential. Yes, he only played a total of 16 regular season games and 6 Playoff runs last year, but Lonnie Walker IV is well on its way of revitalizing his role as one of the Spurs’ rising star in the midst of the hype Zion Williamson, RJ Barrett and Ja Morant is having.
In the 2 games that Walker played in Salt Lake City during the recently concluded 2019 Summer League, he averaged 19.5 points and 7.5 rebounds, while shooting 52% from the field. In Las Vegas, Walker’s stats skyrocketed to 30 points, grabbing 4 rebounds and dishing out around 3 assists per outing. His field goal also improved to 58%. These are not mindboggling stats and is nowhere near Sophomore of the Year award (we made that up), but it only proves that he can be consistent provided that he can be healthy.
Walker and the rest of the Spurs are looking to build one of the most storied teams in the NBA from the ground up. The former ACC All-Freshman and the 2017 Jordan Brand Classic Co-MVP will lead the fresh cast of players in the Silver and Black, which include fellow standouts Keldon Johnson, Croatian rookie Luka Samanic and Quinndary Weatherspoon, among others.
We’d have to agree that this is just the Summer League. Players can shine here but will have little impact come the regular season, but it is their chance to show their respective teams that they have what it takes to compete with the big boys. Walker will look to take back lost time in the Spurs’ rotation. He will most likely come off the bench and should provide the much needed firepower and energy to boost the team.
Walker and the rest of the Spurs need to be healthy. They have to gel and learn from each other. The vets need to take the greenhorns under their wings and walk them through Pop’s plays. Again, we can’t emphasize more on the importance of defense and ball rotation if they want to wake up from the nightmare brought by the Denver Nuggets last postseason. It’s time for Lonnie Walker IV to step up and show the league what he’s got.