Lonnie Walker expected to remain with the Spurs in free agency, but the move to the Lakers has unlocked his offensive potential, writes Jeff McDonald of The San Antonio Express-News. Walker was drafted by San Antonio in 2018 and spent his first four NBA seasons there. After Friday’s game, he told reporters, “I thought I was going to be a Spur for life.”
When he reached free agency in July, L.A. offered a one-year contract at $6.4MM, the full taxpayer mid-level exception. The Spurs had the resources to match or exceed that offer, but they elected not to. Instead, Walker joined a Lakers team that needed scoring and he’s having a career season so far, becoming a full-time starter and averaging 17.0 PPG through 15 games.
“I love playing in this type of environment, with these types of players,” Walker said. “I’m just trying to show my talents. I’m not sure many people really know my game. It’s finally starting to come.”
There’s more on the Lakers:
- LeBron James returned Friday after missing five games with an adductor strain, but he wasn’t sure he’d be able to play until after he completed his pre-game workout, according to Jovan Buha of The Athletic. James committed an uncharacteristic nine turnovers, but he also contributed 21 points, eight rebounds and five assists as L.A. won on the road for the first time this season. “My rhythm, my timing was a little off on a few of my passes,” James said. “I had six in the first half and cut it in half in the second half. But I’ll be a lot better, obviously, as the games go on I’ll get my rhythm back.”
- James has been cleared to play tonight in the second game of a back-to-back, tweets Marc J. Spears of Andscape.
- Anthony Davis will miss tonight’s rematch with the Spurs after getting kicked in the calf during Friday’s game, tweets Kyle Goon of The Orange County Register. Davis has reached at least 25 points and 15 rebounds in his last five games, notes Dave McMenamin of ESPN. “AD was the best player in the league over the last four or five games,” James said Friday. “Just his numbers and productivity on both sides of the floor. It’s not just offensively but defensively he’s been super engaged, and tonight once again he was amazing.”