Walker Needs to Gain League-Wide Recognition
Everyone in San Antonio knows Walker and his impact by now, but outside of the Alamo City, he is relatively unknown. He needs to make it very clear that he is “the guy” coming off the bench. Tre Jones is going to be a great facilitator, but not exactly a flashy, highlight-worthy guard. Draft pick Joshua Primo has a ton of upside, but that likely won't be seen until the more distant future.
Without an immediate impact player like Kai Jones or Usman Garuba, Walker should have the keys to the bench and its offense. He will be surrounded by other valuable players, obviously, but Walker will be the centerpiece that drives the machine.
By scoring more and being the primary ball-handler, he can make a solid start at gaining attention. Unfortunately, the Sixth Man of the Year Award is given out by media members, not coaches. The media often looks past San Antonio and other small-market teams, so Walker needs to be “the guy” and also appear on highlight shows every once in a while. With his increasing range, thunderous dunks, and athletic defensive stops, this shouldn’t be a challenge.
When the top three finishers are announced, the media doesn’t want people wondering who they selected. At this point, nearly everyone knows who Jordan Clarkson and Derrick Rose are, and for good reason. The fact of the matter is that part of winning is getting recognized, and if Walker struggles with that, then it may be a lost cause.
Not only does Walker need to lead the bench, but he also needs to do it with some flair and edge. Otherwise, he’ll be seen as another average player on a team treading water in a stacked Western Conference.