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Now that I think about it… The Spurs did Lonnie Walker dirty

San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich, center, talks to Spurs guards Lonnie Walker IV (1) and Dejounte Murray during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday, March 18, 2022, in San Antonio. New Orleans won 124-91. (AP Photo/Darren Abate)

We have probably seen the last of Lonnie Walker in a Spurs uniform. The now 23-year old was drafted in the first round by the Spurs back in 2018, with the 18th overall pick. Lonnie is now a free agent, and it might cost too much to bring him back.

Sure, the Spurs have lots of cap space to work with this offseason, but the franchise has other pressing issues to address. Keldon Johnson is entering the final year of his contract (Spurs have a team option on him this summer) and the Spurs need to re-sign Keldon before training camp stars. Jakob Poeltl is also in the final year of his deal, so Pop and the front office need to decide if Jakob is a long-term solution for the team at center.

I have mentioned many times on Halftime that I believe Lonnie Walker will average 18-20 points per game with another team if he leaves. Walker averaged a career high 12.1 ppg this past season and had a long stretch of 20-point games in February and March.

What’s going to drive me crazy is that if Walker plays well outside of San Antonio, fans are going to give credit to the Spurs’ coaching staff. Nope. Don’t want to hear it. The Spurs did him dirty. Pop never gave Lonnie a consistent role on the team. Was he a starter? A 6th man? An end of the bench kinda guy? Lonnie was all of that in his four seasons with the team.

I never felt like Pop played the offense towards Lonnie’s strengths and athleticism. We finally got a glimpse of what was possible when Derrick White was traded to the Boston Celtics. Lonnie played well. So well, that he may have priced himself out of San Antonio. I wish Lonnie the best. He’s only 23 and has a bright future ahead of him. I know this for sure – his future success will *not be because of his time in San Antonio. It’ll be because his new team will believe in him… give him consistency… and play to Lonnie’s strengths. Good luck, Lonnie. Go get that money.



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