Lonnie Walker IV says young Spurs have the 'hunger' and the 'talent'

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photo: Spurs/NBAE

During the NBA's hiatus, San Antonio Spurs' Dejounte Murray was vocal about the team's younger players saying it is premature to judge them when behind closed doors he is witnessing their development.

"You can't compare Derrick White to a guy who plays 35 minutes," Murray said. "You're not seeing the best of Dejounte Murray, Derrick White, Lonnie Walker, Bryn Forbes, or Keldon Johnson. I can go on and on, Jakob Poeltl, you're not seeing the best of them because we're still earning our stripes behind closed doors."

The young Spurs will have a shot at earning their stripes in Orlando where they'll resume their 2019-20 season.

With LaMarcus Aldridge out for the season (shoulder surgery), the team will need everyone to raise their game in their final regular-season slate to make the playoffs.

Before the Spurs' first practice in months since the pandemic stopped the season, second-year pro Walker spoke about Murray's comments with media during a video conference call.

"Just hunger. We all got the talent," Walker said. "We're a young, athletic group that wants to play defense and wants to win."

The Spurs currently have their youngest roster ever since Gregg Popovich became coach in 1996, with an average age of 26.3. The roster this season includes nine players under the age of 25 and 11-of-17 players under the age of 27.

This bodes well for the next chapter for the franchise as the roster's young core is growing together.

"I think the best thing out of all of this is that we're all at eye-to-eye level right now," Walker added. "We all know what we want and we all know what we want to become as a team."

Along with the young players Murray mentioned, there's Luka Samanic, Drew Eubanks, Quinndary Weatherspoon, and Chimezie Metu.

That's plenty of young talent the Spurs can evaluate and tap into in Orlando.

"This is a good chance for those young guys to go out there and play," Rudy Gay said during a recent video conference. "We'll see where they stand after all this."

Walker is averaging 14.5 minutes per game along with 5.6 points per game, 2.2 rebounds, and 43-percent shooting in 53 games played this season. He, along with the rest of the Spurs youth, are ready to step up for the team and satisfy that hunger.

"I would just say we're all starving. We're all ready to play, we're ready to win, and play the Spurs way," he said.

Twitter: @JeffGSpursZone