Last year, Lonnie Walker IV was already known throughout the NBA world as a player with unfulfilled potential when he was drafted by the San Antonio Spurs last year. Many commentators at the time argued that Walker should have been taken in the lottery, and after last year, it appears that they’ve been proven right. Walker is an elite athlete who can undoubtedly grow and mature into one of the sport’s greatest players. But just how has he got to this point? And what can we expect from the guard in the upcoming season?
Summer League – The Arrival
As a rookie, it’s fair to say that Walker struggled to keep the pace. Due to injuries, the former Miami Hurricane only managed 17 games at NBA level and averaged a paltry 2.6 points for the Spurs as a rookie. However, the Summer League proved to be a much more fruitful endeavor for Walker, and his play was so impressive that the Spurs shut him down for the final few games of their Las Vegas schedule. His performance against the Toronto Raptors saw him bag 32 points and grab 2 steals, 2 assists, 6 rebounds and 2 blocks. As well as scoring efficiently, he also managed to knock down a number of mid-range jump shots as well as score out in the open court, which is pretty impressive for a guy who’s still only 20 years old.
Unlocking The Spurs Potential In The 2019/20 Season
Last summer, Derrick White put on similarly impressive performances in the Summer League and then went on to have a break-out season for the Spurs. The development of White, Walker, and Dejounte could determine just how quickly the Spurs could return to their former glory. The San Antonio Spurs are around +6600.00 with most NBA betting as of 15th July to lift the 2020 Championship, which is perhaps an indicator of where the team is right now. However, if all three aforementioned players get on the court at the same time and hit top gear, the Spurs could be one of the most unpredictable and explosive teams in the NBA in the upcoming season.
What Can We Expect From Walker in 2020?
After setting the Summer League on fire, Walker’s performances have not gone unnoticed. The Ringer’s Jonathon Tkarks listed him as one of “the most intriguing second-year prospects” after his performances in Vegas. San Antonio Spurs have also been known for their shutdown defensive play – in the era of Tony Parker, Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili, Spurs were known as *the* boring team in the NBA despite their unrivaled success on the court. Assistant coach Becky Hammon recently spoke about Walker’s need to improve defensively and chances are that this will be the biggest difference between the Walker we’ve seen previously and the one who will step onto the court next season.
And Now We Wait…
Time and time again we have seen players with the kind of potential that Lonnie Walker has fall by the wayside – Isaiah Rider, Chris Washburn and Eddy Curry to name but a few. It’s difficult to predict the future of young, talented players in the NBA as their success depends on so much more than their ability. For Lonnie Walker, it really is a case of wait and see. Some players sink and others swim. Where Walker goes from now is anyone’s guess, but we are hopeful that in a few years’ time, we can revisit this article and speak of Walker as one of the NBA’s greatest guards.