After playing 16 seasons in the NBA, former Sixth Man of the Year Manu Ginobili retired earlier this week. His departure now opens the door for increased roles on the Spurs for both Derrick White and Lonnie Walker, writes Bryan Kalbrosky of HoopsHype.
As Kalbrosky notes, Ginobili was used as the primary ball handler in pick-and-rolls for a majority of his possessions last season, and was also used as a spot-up shooter. White also excelled on these play types during his 17 games as a rookie for the Spurs last season. White was also dominant in the G League, meaning he may be ready for an increased role in his second season in the NBA.
Walker, meanwhile, has shown tremendous flashes of potential. At Miami, he was also thrust into the role as a spot-up shooter and ball handler. Spurs coach Gregg Popovich does not generally give a lot of playing time to rookies, but with Ginobili gone, it’s possible he may change his tune with Walker.
There’s more from the Southwest Division:
- The Pelicans caught up with starting point guard Jrue Holiday to discuss the team’s 2017/18 playoff run, the team’s acquisitions like Julius Randle and Elfrid Payton, his off-season preparation, and what he expects for this upcoming season.
- According to Michael Wallace of Grind City Media, Grizzlies rookie Yuta Watanabe is a perfect developmental prospect for today’s NBA because of his combination of length, shot-blocking and three-point range. Watanabe, 23, is trying to become only the second Japanese player to see action in an NBA game.
- In another article for HoopsHype, Kalbrosky looks at how even though the Spurs have always been at the forefront of basketball analytics, they will now heavily rely on two of the most mid-range-happy jump shooters in the NBA in LaMarcus Aldridge and DeMar DeRozan.