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2018DD

#18 – Lonnie Walker IV – San Antonio Spurs

Matt John

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With the No. 18 pick in the NBA draft, the San Antonio Spurs have selected shooting guard Lonnie Walker IV out of the University of Miami.

The Spurs were granted the highest pick they’ve had since drafting Tim Duncan No. 1 in 1997, so they went for the prospect with arguably the highest scoring potential that was still on the board. Walker, who measures at 6-foot-4.5 and 196 pounds, showed the ability to put the ball in the bucket when Miami entrusted him more with the offense, which could make him a Spurs-type player.

On paper, Walker’s stats are not too impressive, as he averaged 11.5 points, 2.6 rebounds, and 1.9 assists in his freshman year at South Beach, but his play on the court tells a different story. Walker did not get many opportunities to shine in the first half of his freshman year, but he flourished once Miami gave him more touches. Walker has displayed solid potential as a scorer with his ability to hit shots off the dribble as well as hesitate. This is helped by his smooth release and good footwork off screens.

Walker’s natural abilities should also make him a dependable player on the defensive end, which means that he should be a good fit in San Antonio. Walker is coming off surgery on his torn meniscus from last summer, so he may or may not be an injury risk. He also has issues with decision-making and his shot selection needs work, but who better to fix that than Gregg Popovich?

San Antonio could use someone of Walker’s abilities on the floor. The team is currently dealing with Kawhi Leonard’s recent trade demand this summer, which, if they grant it, would probably mean that they will have to rebuild this summer. Walker may not have had the hype of a lottery pick, but his skills as a scorer could build a better future should the team blow it up.

Matt John is a staff writer for Basketball Insiders. He is currently a Utah resident, but a Massachusetts native.

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2018DD

Sources: 76ers Trade Khyri Thomas to Pistons

Basketball Insiders

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Philadelphia’s No. 38 overall pick Khyri Thomas will be traded to Detroit, league sources say.

Source: Shams Charania on Twitter

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2018DD

Sources: Kings Trade Gary Trent Jr. to Blazers

Basketball Insiders

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Gary Trent Jr. is headed to the Blazers in a trade, league source tells ESPN.

Portland will send Sacramento to two future second-round picks for Trent, league sources tell ESPN.

Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter

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2018DD

#30 – Omari Spellman – Atlanta Hawks

Lang Greene

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With the No. 30 pick in the NBA draft, the Atlanta Hawks selected Omari Spellman from Villanova University. .

After 10 consecutive seasons reaching the playoffs, the Atlanta Hawks failed to win 25 contests in 2018. Gone are All-Stars Joe Johnson, Al Horford, Paul Millsap, Kyle Korver and Jeff Teague, all of whom the franchise groomed at various points during their decade of playoff bliss. Now the team is faced with a daunting rebuild under second year general manager Travis Schlenk and first year coach Lloyd Pierce.

Spellman was the third Villanova player selected in the first round of this year’s draft behind Mikal Bridges (No. 10 overall) and Donte DiVincenzo (No. 17 overall). In his lone campaign with the Wildcats, Spellman appeared in 40 contests and averaged 10.9 points, eight rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game.

The Hawks continue to add shooting to their rebuilding roster. With the No. 3 overall pick, the team selected Luka Doncic, who will be traded to the Dallas Mavericks for the rights to No. 5 overall pick Trae Young. The team used the No. 19 overall selection to draft shooting guard Kevin Huerter from the University of Maryland. In Spellman, the Hawks acquire a big man that shot 43 percent from the collegiate three-point line last season.

In addition to Young and Huerter, Spellman will join a young Hawks core featuring point guard Dennis Schroder and forward John Collins, two of the team’s first round draft picks from prior years.

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