Lonnie Walker IV was an unexpected addition to the Los Angeles Lakers’ roster this summer.
With a bevy of bigger name free agents available, many were surprised when L.A. ultimately settled on him as their mid-level exception target. His Klutch ties immediately came under scrutiny.
That said, he has been having a solid year. So far this season he is averaging a career-high 16.6 points per game on 47.7 percent shooting from the field and 36.3 percent shooting from beyond the arc.
Moreover, Walker is averaging the second most threes made per game for Los Angeles behind LeBron James – despite taking two fewer attempts per game.
Naturally, because he signed a one-year, $6.5 million deal, many have taken to wondering whether he will back with the team in 2023.
This week, in an interview with Dave McMenamin of ESPN, Walker addressed that topic.
“I’m here for one year,” he said.
“I would love to be here for as long as I can. So what do I have to do to get to that point? Being disciplined, being engaged, and just stacking the days and being the best I can be is something that’s going to get me there.”
Walker clearly understands that the Lakers are in a state of flux right now. At any moment, a trade could happen that drastically alters everyone’s fortunes.
In a podcast appearance from mid-November, he alluded to that himself.
“You have to realize you can only control what you can control,” he admitted.
“Everything else is in God’s hands. I’m a ballplayer. I’m not here to write about the news. I’m not a GM. I play ball…I come here, I do my work, I go home, I come back later on tonight and get some more shots.
“I’m just focused on basketball so anything that’s outside of basketball and whatnot, that’s outside of my responsibility and out of my control nor should I let it reflect or deflect onto myself. I try my best to not read into all of it and get into all of that extra stuff because that’s unnecessary energy you put on yourself.”
It will be interesting to see where L.A. goes from here, both as it pertains to Walker and beyond.
James’ recent hint about which player he wants the team to acquire did not go unnoticed. Ditto for their inclusion as one of five teams in the running for a particular massive trade.
In the beginning of the year, Rob Pelinka and Co. made it clear that they would begin to aggressively assess possible trades right around December 15.
What a year for the Philadelphia Eagles. https://t.co/9ZleI84Knv
— Game 7 (@game7__) December 1, 2022
Well, that deadline is rapidly approaching.
What moves will the organization ultimately make? And how will those moves effect Walker’s future?
Time will tell.
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