Lonnie Walker IV encouraged by experience gained during G League stint
San Antonio Spurs rookie guard Lonnie Walker IV was one of the many exciting players bit by the injury bug, suffering a right knee injury during the preseason, shortly after starting point guard Dejounte Murray tore his ACL days prior. Walker has recovered from his injury and going through the Spurs’ G League affiliate in Austin to incorporate himself into playing shape, an experience he deemed vital.
“The G League has helped me a lot,” said Walker, according to Jeff Garcia of Spurs Zone. “This is not something to look down upon. This is nothing but open opportunity.”
“I came here just to polish myself. Just playing within the system of the Spurs. Defense is key. I’m going to continue to get better defensively whoever I’m guarding.”
Walker was one of the best marksmen available in the first round, but had questions at the defensive end. Yet a 6-foot-4 guard with a 6-foot-10 wingspan gave the Spurs the raw tools to shape him into more than just an average defender, hoping to use his youth and athleticism into a potential three-and-D prospect.
The franchise has been long-known to be one of the most disciplined teams in the league, as head coach Gregg Popovich has managed to shape each one of his teams into a cohesive unit at both ends of the court.
Walker put up 14.8 points, 2.0 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 24.5 minutes through nine games with the Austin Spurs before being recalled by the franchise, hoping to make his NBA debut with a newfound appreciation for its developmental system.