3. Lonnie Walker Almost Lost His Job
Before the All-Star break, Lonnie Walker was possibly the worst player on the Spurs’ roster. He was turnover prone, played poor defense, only scored 11 points a night on 28% shooting from deep, and appeared to have a negative basketball IQ.
Well, Lonnie Walker heard the criticism, and since the All-Star break, started playing much better, averaging 15.3 points the rest of the way.
The boneheaded turnovers are still there and he is by no means an All-Defensive talent, but he is playing like he was expected to.
While Walker has turned a page seemingly overnight, it has to be asked just how good the Spurs would have been this season if Walker was a consistent spark plug off the bench. Would they be as high as the eighth seed with a star coming off the bench?
Would the Spurs have moved him at the deadline for even more 1st round picks? No matter the answers to these questions, the San Antonio Spurs would be in a much better spot.
Walker was so inconsistent, in fact, that questions still surround his value. Even though he has been playing incredibly well as of late, is this the real Lonnie? Or is he simply going to return to his early-season form after the Spurs resign him this offseason?
Maybe it’s too late and the first chunk of the season set enough of a tone for the front office to not offer him a competitive offer during the upcoming negotiations. Time will tell.