Lonnie Walker must be on Raptors radar after breakout game

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MAY 08: Lonnie Walker IV #4 of the Los Angeles Lakers (Photo by Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MAY 08: Lonnie Walker IV #4 of the Los Angeles Lakers (Photo by Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images) /

The Toronto Raptors’ need for more scoring and guard depth has been apparent for years now, and the challenges that come with attracting high-end talent to Toronto have only made things even more difficult on that front. Masai Ujiri needs to blow past those concerns this offseason and add a difference-maker.

With some big names poised to hit the open market, bringing in a player like Lonnie Walker might be the secret ingredient that gets this team back on the right track. After all, the Los Angeles Lakers guard followed a strong end to the regular season by putting together the best quarter of his career against the Golden State Warriors in the playoffs.

Even though Walker did not score a single point in the first three quarters, his 15-point outburst in the fourth quarter (paired with some very timely defense) helped the Lakers take a 3-1 lead over the favored Warriors. Walker went from a flameout in San Antonio to a postseason contributor in Los Angeles.

The Raptors will likely have some money to spend if names like Gary Trent Jr. are not retained. While Walker is not the same level of player, the fact that he has shined brightly in the postseason and still has many years of good basketball ahead of him should inspire confidence.

Will the Toronto Raptors sign Lonnie Walker?

Walker averaged 11.7 points per game this season, which is right on par with what he did during his final two seasons in San Antonio. However, his efficiency went up as a side effect of playing alongside superstars with so much gravity in LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

Pascal Siakam is nowhere near these players in terms of overall quality, but Toronto has enough scoring dynamos to attract defensive attention and let Walker cook from the perimeter. Another bigger guard who has shown he can put forth some occasionally impressive defensive showings, Walker might be an acceptable Trent clone for a lower price.

While it seems like Walker has been in the league for ages, he is still just 24 years old. If Ujiri is still all in on the player development train, Walker might have some untapped potential that the new coach might squeeze out of him.

Walker is far from a one-game wonder, as his last few seasons with the Spurs and debut Lakers campaign are evidence of a player that has become a worthwhile tertiary scorer who can nail big shots, all without breaking the bank from a financial point of view.

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