San Antonio Spurs backup shooting guard Lonnie Walker IV
If you've read my work here on Air Alamo for any significant amount of time, you may know by now that I'm incredibly high on Lonnie Walker IV. His unique blend of athleticism, skill, and intangibles doesn't exactly grow on trees and I still think he has the highest ceiling of all the Spurs' young players.
That being said, like the others on this list, I expect him to begin the season playing off the bench with Derrick White playing as the team's starting shooting guard. Nonetheless, I have a feeling that could quickly change.
White, in my mind, is in a more precarious position than most seem to think. While it's certainly true that he's capable of being one of the best players on the roster, that won't matter if he isn't able to stay healthy. And even if he does stay healthy, I think a serious case can be made for White coming off of the bench as the Spurs' backup point guard. White is also the oldest of the Spurs' recent draft picks, being about eight and a half years older than Josh Primo.
Even if Walker isn't quite as good of a defender as White, in a starting lineup that will have some serious initial question marks on offense, Walker's potential as a scorer makes up for any minor defensive drawbacks.
Thankfully, Walker will still have a chance to show that potential as the bench unit's likely number-one scoring option. If White can't be a reliable offensive presence in the Spurs' starting unit, Walker could quickly be asked to take over that responsibility if he's improved since last season. The quickest way for him to show that improvement will be to stand out on both ends of the floor with the bench unit.
While it certainly isn't guaranteed, any one of Landale, Vassell, or Walker could make a case to be moved to the starting unit next season. Regardless, Spurs fans should be excited that they'll be able to witness what the Spurs' young group can do in the absence of the team's long-time veterans.