Kevin Hagen/Associated Press
The San Antonio Spurs’ first-round pick is officially part of the team.
On Wednesday, the Spurs announced they signed guard Lonnie Walker IV to a rookie contract after selecting him with the No. 18 pick in the 2018 draft. San Antonio didn’t reveal the terms of the contract.
Walker earned ACC All-Freshman team honors during his one collegiate season with the Miami Hurricanes and averaged 11.5 points per game while shooting 34.6 percent from three-point range.
While the Spurs didn’t announce the terms of the deal, Tom Orsborn of the San Antonio Express-News cited the 2018-19 NBA rookie scale and noted “the 18th pick receives $1,964,300 his first year, $2,300,400 his second and $2,410,000 his third, which is a team option. The fourth season is also a team option, with Walker set to receive at least a 53.8 percent increase over his third-season salary.”
He also pointed out most teams pay more than the scale since the collective bargaining agreement allows up to 120 percent extra and suggested the Spurs will surely do this with Walker.
The Miami product comes to San Antonio at a time it needs an infusion of young talent.
Tony Parker is no longer on the roster, LaMarcus Aldridge turns 33 years old this offseason, Manu Ginobili is 40 years old and Pau Gasol is 38 years old. What’s more, the Kawhi Leonard drama has been a consistent talking point since early in the 2017-18 season, and his long-term future with the team is far from a guarantee.
Walker fits the bill as a talented playmaker who has already demonstrated his abilities slashing into the lane with the ball in his hands during summer league play. He also proved in college he can take advantage of open looks when defenders sag off him on the perimeter.
If Walker lives up to his potential, he can help usher in a new era of Spurs basketball.