Lonnie Walker IV – 6’4″ Shooting Guard, University of Miami, 19 Years Old
Lonnie Walker is a player expected to be taken late in the lottery come Thursdays NBA Draft. A University of Miami Freshman, Walker is an explosive guard who could fit nicely on a number of teams backcourts. Lonnie elected to declare for the NBA Draft following a fairly uneventful college season at Miami. He earned ACC All-Freshman Team honors and an All-ACC Team honorable mention. Miami was knocked out in the first round of the NCAA tournament by dark-horse Loyola Chicago.
Lonnie averaged 11.5 points, 2.6 rebounds, and 1.9 assists during the 2017-18 season. He also had 0.9 steals and 0.5 blocks per game. Walker connected on 41.5% of his field goals, 34.6% of three-pointers and 73.8% of free-throws. His athletic frame and long wingspan allow him to be a solid defensive player.
Lonnie Walker’s main strengths come from his physical attributes such as his athletic frame and his large wingspan. He is highly explosive and a very fast player. This also means he can be a hard player to guard and stay in front of, especially in transition. He is a competent scorer, particularly when attacking the rim. He can shoot well off of the catch, as well as creating his own shot off the dribble. His athleticism allows him to finish above and around the rim acrobatically, and while he doesn’t attempt many free-throws (2 per game) he does shoot them at a high rate.
Walker has also shown his ability as a point guard, averaging only 1.2 turnovers a game. This is impressive considering he has a usage rate of 22.4%, meaning that almost a quarter of the team’s plays are run for him. Walker also has the potential to be a lockdown defender.
One of the biggest flaws of Lonnie Walker’s game is his inconsistent shooting. He shot only 41.5% from field goals, and 34.6% from three. These are fairly low numbers for a guard, especially one who bears the offensive load of his team. He also struggles to play off the ball, requiring high usage in order to be useful. On top of this, Walker has a fairly inconsistent handle, relying on his quickness to beat defenders. This will have to improve at the next level when playing against better athletes.
Walker struggles to rebound the ball, averaging only 2.6 per game. For an athletic two guard, he should be pulling down more rebounds. On top of this, he struggles even more with offensive rebounding, only 0.4 per game.
The free throw rate of Walker will also have to rise. For a guard who spends so much time driving to the hole, he only draws fouls and free throws at around 2 a game. He will have to start finding more contact on drives in order to raise his efficiency.
Lonnie Walker’s potential is highly dependant on how he adapts to the NBA game. As an explosive shooting guard, he has the ability to be a consistent starter, providing value at both ends of the court. Walker could even potentially prove to be the best guard in this draft class if he can reach his ceiling.
NBA Player Comparison
Players who are similar to Lonnie Walker include Bradley Beal, Victor Oladipo, and Devin Booker. All of these players are explosive shooting guards. They can impact the offensive end in multiple areas and can defend more than one position. Expect to see Walker taken in the late lottery.
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