LONNIE WALKER 2018 NBA Draft Scouting Report
COLLEGE: MIAMI (FL)
WEIGHT: 205 POUNDS
POSITION: SHOOTING GUARD
PROJECTED DRAFT POSITION: MID FIRST TO LOW 20’S IN FIRST ROUND
Lonnie Walker IV was a top-15 prospect coming out of the high school class of 2017, with offers to play at the biggest basketball programs in the country like Kentucky, Villanova, Syracuse, and Arizona. The super-athletic two-guard combined size (6’4 and 206lbs), a long wingspan (six-foot-10), along with quickness, leaping ability, and body control when finishing around the rim.
But the 2017 McDonald’s All-American tore the meniscus in his right knee over the summer, causing him to get a slow start on his freshman year after undergoing surgery before the season started.
To date, he’s averaging 17.2 points per 40 minutes on 54.1% true shooting and posting a 17.2 player efficiency rating through 27 appearances this season. Walker has a reliable outside shot that extends out to the three-point range, with compact mechanics, great elevation, and a fluid release on his shot. He’s connected on an average of 35.6% of 132 three-point shots so far this season, which translates to a pace of 7.4 such attempts per 40 minutes.
Just as importantly, the fact that he’s shooting 78.3% from the free throw line suggests that there’s potential for him to become a better shooter in the pro’s as well. It’s not the quickest motion in the world, and it may need to be sped up somewhat when he gets to the NBA, but at least it’s more prone to going in, as opposed to not.
His destiny looks very much like a pure shooting guard in the NBA, as he hasn’t really shown the ability to run his team’s offense on his own, or having a general feel for where everyone is on the court. He’s more of a scorer, as he can shoot the ball reliably, or finish around the rim resourcefully yet gracefully. He can finish off either leg and with either hand, changing direction and contorting his body mid-flight. Ironically enough, he doesn’t draw as many fouls as you’d like, given that skill set, so that’s something he would also need coaching on in the NBA.
But his forte is definitely around being able to create his own shot, especially late in possessions. He has a repertoire of dribble moves that will shake him free from his defender and create space for him to release his shot. He does have a little bit of a propensity of being a volume scorer versus a sharp shooter, but that’s not too uncommon for a player with his skill-set.
On defense, Walker’s abilities are good enough, but nothing really to write home about. He can get by mostly on account of his length and athleticism, though he does show a solid understanding of defensive concepts and rotations at times.
The biggest question surrounding Walker is whether teams will be comfortable selecting a player who has a very defined position, and doesn’t present a lot of match-ups for opponents to deal with. He’s not a wing player, and he’s not a pure offensive facilitator. Does that translate into him becoming a Lou Williams-type sixth man at the next level? That certainly appears to be the early prognosis.
BELOW ARE HIGHLIGHTS OF LONNIE WALKER
Which current NBA player does Lonnie Walker remind you of?
Please leave comments in the section below.
(In affiliation with Amazon)