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San Antonio Spurs: Lonnie Walker’s summer ends with ankle injury

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LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 08: Lonnie Walker IV #18 of the San Antonio Spurs stands on the court during his team's game against the Washington Wizards during the 2018 NBA Summer League at the Thomas & Mack Center on July 8, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Sam Wasson/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 08: Lonnie Walker IV #18 of the San Antonio Spurs stands on the court during his team's game against the Washington Wizards during the 2018 NBA Summer League at the Thomas & Mack Center on July 8, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Sam Wasson/Getty Images)
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San Antonio Spurs first round pick, Lonnie Walker IV, suffered a sprained ankle in Thursday’s Summer League contest.

Lonnie Walker IV, who went at No. 18 overall in the 2018 NBA Draft, received the chance to flash his talents for the San Antonio Spurs in the 2018 Summer League. It was his opportunity to make a case to start the season on the main roster, if the G League remained in play, much like Dejounte Murray and Derrick White — San Antonio’s previous first-round picks — had to go through in their respective rookie years.

In Thursday’s Summer League game, however, Walker exited it with a sprained ankle, according to ESPN’s Michael C. Wright. The Spurs ruled him out for the rest of their time in Las Vegas, as they still have a consolation game to play against the Phoenix Suns on Friday.

Without Walker, look for Jaron Blossomgame, Trey McKinney-Jones and Olivier Hanlan to be the Spurs to watch in this game.

Per a source, Spurs first-round draft pick Lonnie Walker IV sprained an ankle and is out for the rest of summer league. Nothing major here. Just no need to push it at this juncture.

— Michael C. Wright (@mikecwright) July 13, 2018

As Wright noted, it’s a precautionary move for Walker and the Spurs. Summer League, while an opportunity to showcase for the organization, features games that do not count, and for a player already under contract, there’s every reason to let him rest and prep for this fall’s training camp; that’s potentially two-plus months away.

Once the preseason arrives in October, the Spurs will see what Walker can do against the nightly NBA competition, which he would face if the team does not place him with the Austin Spurs. It’s a bigger test than Summer League and should offer a better glimpse at what he can produce imminently.

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In four Vegas Summer League games, Walker averaged 11.5 points, 5 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.2 steals in 27.8 minutes per game. He acted as one of the Summer Spurs’ main scorers, especially without Derrick White and Chimezie Metu, both of whom also left the league with ailments.

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