The Summer League is a “golden” opportunity for young players to show improvement on their abilities in a less competitive environment in comparison with the regular season and the NBA playoffs.
This summer, Lonnie Walker did not only show improvement, but he dominated the Utah and Las Vegas NBA Summer league showing glimpses of greatness.
Walker, 21, is about to enter his second year in the NBA, after a one-year stint in San Antonio’s affiliated G-League team, the Austin Spurs.
Selected with the 18th overall pick in 2018 Draft from the San Antonio Spurs, the young “wing” entered this summer with the intention to improve several aspects of his game.
Furthermore, in the Salt Lake City tournament, he scored 19.5 points per game on 52% field goal percentage.
And so far, Walker is relentless. The Pennsylvania native is averaging 30 points on 58% in field goal percentage in his first two games of the Las Vegas Summer League.
“I’m just working my tail off. I’m very confident in the way I play and trust that every shot is going to fall,” Walker said per “expressnews.com”.
After a 32-point performance against Toronto on Monday, the young guard talked about his confidence.
Walker was exceptional, on and off the ball, while he was wreaking “havoc” on the opponents’ defense every time he was attacking the paint.
His performance against the Raptors came after a three quarter 28-point showing against the Orlando Magic.
Also, his shooting motion has been rapidly improved, especially on catch-and-shoot situations. Furthermore, his shot creation was prominent in the last couple of games.
On the other hand, there is still much more areas that the young prospect can work on and become even better.
A 1.96 guard with a 2.08 wingspan, Walker can become a valuable asset on both ends of the floor, but he got to be more active in the defensive side of his game.
The Spurs’ assistant coach, Becky Hammon, talked about his defensive upside claiming that he has to be more active on this side of the floor, per “expressnews.com”.
Throughout his career in high-school and college, Walker was asked to be the main focus on offense.
“He’s got some real tools,” Hammon said. “So we’re going to be constantly on him to be competitive and active and alert on every defensive play in the summer and into his career. He’s going to need that.”
In the upcoming season, he need to become a two-way threat in order to crack into Gregg Popovich’s regular rotation.
Generally, in the past few games of the Summer League he gave us a fine example of his “bright” future with the Spurs’ franchise.