Lonnie Walker IV has been one of the revelations of the 2022 NBA season, thriving in his first year with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Walker’s signing didn’t make a splash in the offseason. The 23-year-old penned a one-year, $6.5 million contract with L.A., who used its taxpayer mid-level exception to bring the guard in. The skepticism stemmed from doubts over the Miami alum’s shooting and defensive skills.
But the former San Antonio Spurs prospect has been in exquisite form since the start of the season, averaging 16.6 points and nearly a steal per game.
Discussing his fine 2022-23 performance in an interview with ESPN’s Dave McMenamin, Walker said extending his stay with the Lakers has been one of his main motivations:
“I’m here for one year,” Walker says. “I would love to be here for as long as I can. So what do I have to do to get to that point? Being disciplined, being engaged, and just stacking the days and being the best I can be is something that’s going to get me there.”
Walker also revealed his other long and short-term goals, saying he wants to make a case for the Most Improved Player award and claim the Conference Player of the Week honor. Walker’s already accomplished one of his objectives, securing his place in the Lakers’ starting 5.
Darvin Ham praise Walker’s versatility & attitude
Lakers head coach Darvin Ham has recently heaped praise on Walker, commending the guard for using his offensive versatility and athleticism to become a major cog in L.A.’s offense.
Ham adds he enjoys working with Walker because of his work ethic and positive attitude. “He’s a genuine guy that’s been through a lot in his life. Just genuine,” Ham says. “It’s a pleasure to be around him, just a quiet, lowkey-spirited guy. Always positive energy.
“I enjoy coaching the kid, I enjoy having conversations with him, I enjoy just being around him, coming to the gym and seeing him there every day. He’s that type of kid. It’s beautiful to watch him just grow in front of our eyes even more and just take it day by day and just continue to add to his confidence and add to his repertoire.
“Him starting to understand time, score and situations has been another fun thing to watch.”
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