The San Antonio Spurs selected Miami’s Lonnie Walker IV with the No. 18 overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft.
The San Antonio Spurs had the No. 18 pick in Thursday night’s NBA Draft, their highest without a trade since 1997. This resulted in Tim Duncan at No. 1 overall, who became a franchise all-time great, winning five championships and multiple MVP awards.
While No. 18 may not provide the next Duncan, the Spurs still looked to find the future of the franchise, especially amidst uncertainty. That player became Lonnie Walker IV, a shooting guard from Miami.
Walker, like many shooting guards in this draft, has the athleticism, wingspan and size to be a quality perimeter defender. He has the outside shot to pair with this, too, and should improve this area of the floor that the Spurs had problems with, at times, during the 2017-18 season.
In Walker’s only year in college, he put up 11.5 points, 2.6 rebounds and 1.9 assists on 41.5 percent shooting and 34.6 percent from 3-point range. Not standout numbers, but he only started 18 of a possible 32 games and had to share the offensive production with Bruce Brown and Dewann Huell.
With age questions in the backcourt, Walker steps in as one of the youngest of the bunch. He joins Dejounte Murray and Derrick White as the future of it, while Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili near the end of their respective careers. Danny Green is also 31 and just picked up his player option, but he may not be around for long, either.
The Spurs have one more pick to go, with No. 49 still a while away. However, Walker is the player the Silver and Black fans will look back on after this draft. Where does he fit in, in the 2018-19 season? What’s his upside at shooting guard for San Antonio? Let’s see how these questions are answered as the year continues.