Future Watch: Lonnie Walker IV Rookie Basketball Cards, Spurs – Lonnie Walker IV was born in Reading, Pennsylvania on December 14th, 1998. He attended Reading High School as a prep. In his freshman season, he played in 27 games and averaged eight points per contest. His sophomore season was cut short due to an injury, but he did increase his scoring to 16.9 points per game. Walker would continue to improve in his junior and senior seasons. He would finish his career at Reading High with the most points in school history, passing Donyell Marshall with 1,828 points. In 2017, Walker would lead the Reading High Red Knights to their first state championship in the school’s 117 year history. He finished the championship game with 22 points, eight boards, four steals and three assists.
Scout.com, Rivals, 247Sports and ESPN all ranked Walker as a five-star college recruit. He would turn down offers from Villanova, Kentucky, Syracuse and Arizona in favor of the University of Miami. In his only season with the Hurricanes, Walker played in 32 games with 18 starts. A meniscus injury slightly delayed his start, but he would still lead the team in scoring with 11.5 points per game. Throughout the course of his freshman season, Walker performed well off the bench and as a starter. In his first start for the Hurricanes, he scored a season-high 26 points and grabbed seven boards in a 69-54 win over Boston University. At the end of the season, Walker declared his eligibility for the 2018 NBA Draft.
Heading into the draft, Lonnie Walker’s stock was on the rise. Standing 6’4” with a 6’10” wingspan, he fits the mold for an NBA shooting guard. His length and lateral quickness gives him the ability to guard three positions. As a scorer, he can attack off the dribble and has a quick release on his mid-range jump shot. At Miami he shot only 34.6% from behind the arc. His quick and compact stroke will need some work to develop more consistency from long range, but he has a strong foundation. On Draft night, the San Antonio Spurs added Walker to their roster with the 18th overall pick.
It has been a rough rookie season for Walker. During training camp he revealed a right medial meniscus tear. The Spurs would take it slow with him, and assigned Walker to the Austin Spurs, their G-League affiliate. Walker would play in 29 games with 28 starts for Austin. He averaged 16.6 points, three rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.2 steals over 27.3 minutes per game. On January 3rd, he would make his NBA debut in a win against the Raptors. He played five minutes and scored three points with one rebound.
Walker’s minutes in the NBA have been sporadic this season, which isn’t a surprise. Coach Gregg Popovich and the Spurs run a well-oiled system with players who have earned their spot in the rotation. Right now, Walker is more of a “victory cigar” who mostly finds minutes in blowout wins and losses. With one regular season game left on the schedule, Walker could see some extended minutes in his team’s final game. Once the playoffs start, he’ll probably return to his role on the end of the bench.
Don’t let Walker’s lack of minutes as discourage you from collecting his rookie cards. This is the status quo in San Antonio. The Spurs will bring him into the rotation slowly and utilize his skills in a way that drives winning. It could take more than a year before Walker is a key contributor. When he gets more playing time, look for Lonnie Walker to be a go-to scorer for the Spurs. Right now, there are a lot of great deals on his rookie cards and certified autographs. They’re worth holding until he becomes more of a fixture in San Antonio.
Collectors can find Lonnie Walker IV’s cards featuring him in a Miami Hurricanes uniform in 2018 Panini Contenders Draft Picks Collegiate Basketball. Look for him in his Spurs uniform across Panini’s entire 2018-19 catalog of NBA products. You can find him in Court Kings, Select, Cornerstones, and the upcoming National Treasures to name a few.
Follow him on Twitter @lonniewalker_4.
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