San Antonio initially issued Walker that qualifying offer, worth $6,311,564, on Wednesday, which came as a bit of a surprise, as I noted at the time. Unlike some of this summer’s top restricted free agents, the 23-year-old wasn’t a lock to receive his qualifying offer, given the up-and-down season he had in 2021/22.
Walker averaged a career-high 12.1 PPG and 2.2 APG, but saw his shooting percentages dip to 40.7% from the floor and 31.4% on threes, well below his career rates. The Spurs were better with him off the court (+2.1 net rating) than on it (-3.0). Furthermore, a Wednesday report stated that Walker was unlikely to remain in San Antonio.
With the QO off the table, the Spurs will create some extra cap flexibility and Walker will have the opportunity to sign anywhere without the risk of San Antonio matching an offer sheet.
Charania says to expect a “strong market” for the former first-round pick.