The San Antonio Spurs had a successful Summer League season that may have acted as a launching point for their next star guard.
The young players on the San Antonio Spurs‘ roster came into this year’s Summer League season with a lot to prove.
Lonnie Walker was looking to dominate this summer after spending most of his rookie year in the G League.
Drew Eubanks wanted to prove that his dominance with the Austin Spurs wasn’t a fluke last season and carry over that momentum into his second year in the NBA.
Not to mention, Becky Hammon has become a staple among the Summer League coaches and hoped to lead the team to another title in Las Vegas.
While some of the Spurs’ younger players struggled to put together a string of good games in Summer League, there were certainly plenty of prospects who showed out and made an impression on San Antonio’s front office and coaching staff.
Here are the three players that highlighted a successful season for the Spurs’ Summer League squad:
Next: Lonnie Walker
You can’t talk about the Spurs’ 2019 Summer League season without discussing the greatness of Lonnie Walker.
We’ve written extensively about how his promising summer should lead to big things in his second NBA season, and his short-but-stellar performance in the Utah and Las Vegas Summer Leagues is a major reason why.
Lonnie began his Summer League schedule by finishing second in scoring in Utah with 19.5 points per game over two contests.
Walker played a total of 58 minutes in Salt Lake City hitting 15 of his 29 field goal attempts (52%) while swiping two steals and grabbing 15 rebounds.
The second-year guard out of Miami truly exploded onto the Summer League scene in Las Vegas where he tied for the league lead in scoring with 30 points per game in two contests before getting shut down for the offseason.
Walker scored incredibly efficiently in Vegas hitting 23 of 40 shots (58%) while grabbing eight rebounds with three steals and two blocks.
Lonnie was a human highlight reel during his short stint in the Summer League, which was exactly what he needed to do to prepare for a potential breakout season.
Next: Quinndary Weatherspoon
It was a bit of a surprise when the Spurs drafted Quinndary Weatherspoon in the second round considering the glut of guards already on their roster, but the early signals show that San Antonio may have found another diamond in the rough.
Weatherspoon’s four years of record-breaking college experience at Mississippi State gave him a leg up on some of the younger competition at Summer League, and he used that experience to his advantage in Utah and Las Vegas.
Quinndary went 10-of-20 from the field during the Spurs’ two games in Salt Lake City scoring 26 total points with five rebounds and four assists.
Weatherspoon clearly gained confidence from his stint in Utah as he let it fly more in Vegas with 27 shot attempts in two games. He was slightly less efficient shooting 44% from the field, but the former Bulldog was able to score 38 points in Vegas over those two games filling out the stat sheet with 13 rebounds, five assists, and three steals.
Weatherspoon came into the draft with the reputation of an efficient, slashing scorer from the two-guard position with the ability to hound opposing backcourts on the defensive end of the floor.
We saw that skillset on full display this summer.
Next: Keldon Johnson
The third spot on this list provided a difficult decision between Keldon Johnson and Drew Eubanks, but I decided to give the 19-year-old rookie the nod here.
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Most of the Kentucky swingman’s most impressive moments came during his 29-point explosion against the Grizzlies in Utah.
Johnson shot 59% from the field in that game, including a 3-for-4 performance from three-point land as he showcased his quick release.
Keldon earned a plus-minus of +13 in the Spurs’ 15-point victory as he showed why the Spurs were extremely excited to select him with the 29th overall pick.
Unfortunately, the rest of Johnson’s four Summer League games weren’t nearly as impressive.
He scored just four points in his other game in Salt Lake City, and his Las Vegas stats didn’t pop off the screen with 9.3 points per game on 37% shooting with 3.7 rebounds per contest in a three-game stint.
However, that domination of Memphis sparked some hope that he could become a solid three-and-D wing in this league with the potential to become even more than that down the line.
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Keldon Johnson has a long way to go in his development, but at just 19 years old he’s already showing flashes of something special.