For a player who was brought in as a long-term development project, an NBA level athlete but with raw skills, this is an unfortunate setback.
San Antonio’s first-round pick Lonnie Walker Jr.(No. 18, you may remember him as the guy with the floating hat) will undergo surgery Monday to repair a right medial meniscus tear, the team announced Saturday. While the team would not give a timetable for a return, these are traditionally six-to-eight week recoveries.
Walker suffered the injury Friday night in a preseason game against the Pistons.
This is Walker’s second surgery on that meniscus, he had one before his freshman season at Miami.
At Summer League Walker showed both why the Spurs drafted him and how far he has to go. Walker is a 6’4″ shooting guard but with a 6’11” wingspan and he could use that to be disruptive defensively. He could jump out of the building and made impressive plays as a shot creator and finisher thanks to that athleticism. However, his shot needs work — Walker hit just 29 percent of his shots at the Utah Summer League and 34 percent in Las Vegas. Also, his court awareness is not where it needs to be yet to help the Spurs.
It has always been likely Walker would get minutes with the Spurs’ G-League affiliate as well as with the big club. Now it looks like he will be doing some G-League rehab as well.