Lonnie Walker is the downhill scorer Toronto needs

Lonnie Walker is young and has an ability to get in the paint that the Raptors have missed since Norman Powell was traded. Full conversation on free agent guards is available on our Yahoo Sports Canada YouTube.

Video Transcript

AMIT MANN: OK, so let's move on to a very fun one that I mentioned earlier, Lonnie Walker.

ZACH WILSON: Love it.

AMIT MANN: We all do, but why? But why?

ZACH WILSON: I think a lot of teams love it. I think you mentioned in the intro a guy who's going to have a lot of highlight plays, great athlete. He's going to dunk on people. Solid on the defensive end. He's a guy who's 6'4" as a guard. He would be the type of guy who would be your "microwave scorer off the bench." Obviously, he's not just recognized as oh, yeah, this is just an elite scoring option. He's going to do it in different ways. He's going to blow past guys. He's going to be more of a secondary creator, which I don't know if that's what Toronto wants.

But as I mentioned before, Scottie, Pascal, Fred, it's not hard to have at least one of those guys on the floor at all times. And Asllani, a guy who can attack closeouts. I think he can shoot OK. We haven't seen a ton of him, like he got up to five three-point attempts per game last year. And he shot 31% so that's kind of OK. It's enough to keep a defense honest.

But I like him because once again another guy who's 24. You come into a Toronto Raptors development system that's developed guys time and time again. And who knows what they could make of him. But it's a guy who I don't know if he signs the midlevel exception, if he would sign a super long term deal, and then if he really proved himself in Toronto, he would be out of there for more money after the two years. So don't know how worth it it is. But yeah, I like the idea of him a lot.

AMIT MANN: The idea is awesome. The idea is perfect because you can just see how-- I mean the shots that he was getting in San Antonio, he shot 31% from three last year, which is a bit of a dip for him. But the shots he would get in Toronto would be very, very clean because of the gravity of Scottie and their ball movement, and Pascal Siakam obviously is one of a terrific passer at his size. He gets open shooters all the time he finds them. And that's why he had a lot of games where he's getting triple doubles because he knows how to find dudes in the corners. And I think he would be able to benefit from all of that. And then when it comes to just getting the ball and accelerating to the bucket, holy smokes, it is ridiculous. His vertical is 40 inches. 40-inch vert, at least that's what it was on draft day.

ZACH WILSON: It's crazy.

AMIT MANN: Insanity. He's got that pop, and the Raptors really need more players who can just touch the paint-- just get in the paint. And I think they have some guys who can do it, but not everyone who can do it in the same way that Lonnie can when it comes to just like the acceleration, the dribbling, the comfort in the paint, the driving, like only needed one dribble to get to the bucket. They don't have guys who can do that. It'd probably be like Pascal and then there's a huge dip down afterwards. And Lonnie would instantly become the second tier of that.

ZACH WILSON: Oh, yeah, and if you have a guy like him cutting with what went on like Pascal or Scottie or Precious. Even though, G have the ball at the high post it creates just for some crazy like offense. I mean that's why the Warriors are so deadly because they have guys cutting and screening and off ball movement at all times. So yeah, I would like him. I don't know if it necessarily works, but I've said that about a few things that Messi has proved me wrong before.

AMIT MANN: We will never claim to be smarter than Masai Ujiri, or Bobby Webster--

[INTERPOSING VOICES]

ZACH WILSON: Like never. That's why when they drafted Suggs, I was so high on Suggs, partially because I'm a Gonzaga fan, but partially because he looked really good. I mean, everyone had him fourth. The second they drafted Scottie, I said, no, I'm happy with this. I trust this because Masai and Bobby and the rest of this front office know way more about basketball than me. And I am just going to trust that, and look at that. Like look what we got so--

AMIT MANN: Rookie of the year. There should be a sophomore of the year award. I still maintain that I've said it for a long time, there should be a sophomore of the year because I think it's interesting to show the growth of players from year one to year two. We have most improved so why not have a sophomore of the year. That's actually interesting.

ZACH WILSON: I've never thought of that. And we hear so often, you can't give most improved to a second year player because they're supposed to improve. So yeah why not just give an award to whether it's the best sophomore or it's the most improved sophomore, I think either would be pretty interesting.

AMIT MANN: Aha, aha, aha.

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