Lonnie Walker IV Likely Done With San Antonio Spurs?

Lonnie Walker IV, San Antonio Spurs, NBA Rumors
NBA Analysis Network

The San Antonio Spurs have shocked the NBA world this offseason. After decades of remaining the NBA’s steadfast model for patience and in-house development, nobody expected the Spurs to take a heel turn as drastic as the one they took this summer.

Dejounte Murray, who was traded to the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday, isn’t the only athletic guard set to leave San Antonio this summer, though. As Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer reported, Lonnie Walker IV isn’t expected to be retained after reaching restricted free agency.

Lonnie Walker, sources said, is not expected to return to the Spurs.

After fielding a surprisingly competitive team in the 2021-22 NBA season, the Spurs nearly made the playoffs despite trying to avoid the postseason altogether to try to maximize their draft odds. Luckily for San Antonio, the New Orleans Pelicans were able to knock them out of the Play-In Tournament and into the lottery.

There, they drew the ninth-overall pick to round out a stash of selections that they had accumulated over time. In total, the Spurs entered the 2022 NBA Draft with three first-round picks: nine, 20, and 25. They came out of the night having acquired Baylor’s Jeremy Sochan, Ohio State’s Malaki Branham, and Notre Dame’s Blake Wesley.

LATEST NBA FREE AGENCY NEWS AND TRADE RUMORS: San Antonio Spurs Trade Dejounte Murray To Atlanta Hawks

Fans may have thought that those three were key additions to their young core, but it’s looking like the Spurs actually laid down a new foundation for their next era. Apparently, the front office decided that Dejounte Murray was more valuable to them as a trade asset than a franchise cornerstone moving forward.

It was officially announced late on Wednesday, June 29 that San Antonio had dealt the breakout All-Star guard to the Atlanta Hawks in exchange for Danilo Gallinari, three first-round picks — two of which are completely unprotected — and the rights to a future first-round pick swap.

LATEST NBA FREE AGENCY NEWS AND TRADE RUMORS: San Antonio Spurs Trade Dejounte Murray To Atlanta Hawks

San Antonio is clearly prioritizing their youth, just drafted two guards, and also acquired Josh Primo last season. It makes perfect sense for them and Lonnie Walker IV to part ways.