2. Lonnie Walker IV
Walker IV played the best basketball of his career in Brooklyn before a hamstring injury sidelined him for multiple weeks. The 6’4 guard signed a one-year deal with the Nets this summer after playing an inconsistent role with the Lakers in the 2023 playoffs. Walker was added as bench depth but quickly became a key shot-maker.
In his first 17 games, the 24-year-old put up 14.6 points, 2.6 rebounds, and 1.6 assists in 21.3 minutes per game while shooting 48.9 percent from the field and 46.3 percent on his 3-point tries. His jumper has been inconsistent in his first five NBA seasons, so an improvement there would be massive.
Is Brooklyn willing to give him a significant raise in the offseason? If the answer is no, they should look to shop him before the deadline. Teams will certainly be interested in a 6’4 wing shooting the lights out, and the Nets may be able to sell high.
Lonnie Walker IV offers more athletic ability and scoring than Sam Hauser. The two could become their two trusted bench wings in the playoffs. Boston may need a bit more ball-handling and playmaking to win it all, but Walker IV’s scoring may be pivotal in a postseason contest or two.