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Spurs Fans Debate: Has Lonnie Walker Earned a Return Contract?

Lonnie Walker IV, Deni Avdija
Lonnie Walker IV, Deni Avdija / Rob Carr/GettyImages
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Lonnie Walker is in the middle of his best stretch of basketball since being drafted by the San Antonio Spurs.

Over the last six games, Walker has eclipsed the 17-point mark every time and is averaging 20.3 points per game. He's also shooting 51.6% from the field and 38.2% from the 3-point line. It's been an encouraging stretch for the fourth-year guard, whose biggest issue has been consistency throughout his career.

Before his recent hot streak, many Spurs fans, us included, believed Walker was playing himself out of a job with his poor shooting and lack of aggression. After all, he'll be a restricted free agent this offseason, so it'll ultimately be up to whether or not the two sides can agree to a fair return price.

I'll admit, I've been so unimpressed with his lack of production in year four that I've leaned heavily toward the Spurs parting ways with him unless he comes back relatively cheap. His latest prolonged stretch of excellent play, however, has me at least thinking twice.

Recently, I turned to you, the fans, on Twitter to get your opinion on the matter. "Let's read the room while he's hot," I said. "Has Lonnie Walker show you enough to bring him back next season?"

The result was an overwhelming yes, with 68.5% of you responding in the positive. "I think he has improved his game across the board this year," said @Spurs_Hoops211. "If he keeps up this type of play, I see no reason he shouldn't say."

Others weren't completely sold yet but encouraged by Walker's progress.

Others weren't quite convinced yet.

The general consensus of those who shared their opinion, however, was that the price is what mattered most. "If he's down to come back on a team-friendly deal, then sure," said @DilsJones24. "Otherwise, I'd rather not."

Earlier this year, our own Cal Durrett weighed in on what he thinks another contract for Walker might look like. " I could see him signing a 3-year deal worth between $24 million and $27 million without competitive offers," he said.

Like most of you, I have a similar feeling right now. I love what I've seen from Lonnie lately, but for every stretch of impressive games, he has a stretch in which he's missing wide open jumpers and disappearing into the background.

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Walker has been playing above his expectations lately, and it's been fun to watch. If he can keep up even a fraction of his inspired play over the last stretch of the season, he might just make believers out of us all. If he fades away again, though, it might be time to move on.

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