Nets’ Lonnie Walker IV not among finalists for Sixth Man award

The Brooklyn Nets had a disappointing 2023-24 season as the franchise went from a potential playoff team to missing the postseason completely following a 13-10 start to the season. As such, plenty of players saw themselves out of the running for various end-of-season awards that they probably would have been frontrunners for if the season went differently.

On Sunday, the NBA announced on social media via its “X” account all of the finalists for the regular-season awards with the playoffs beginning this past weekend. While it was not surprising, Nets guard Lonnie Walker IV was not among the finalists for the Sixth Man of the Year award.

The finalists were: Sacramento Kings guard Malik Monk, Milwaukee Bucks forward Bobby Portis, and Minnesota Timberwolves forward Naz Reid. The voting results are unknown at the time of this piece, but from the look of it, it seems that there are a few reasons as to why Walker was not a finalist for the accolade.

Walker, 25, averaged 9.7 points, 2.2 rebounds, and 1.3 assists per game while shooting 42.3% from the field and 38.4% from three-point land in 58 games played. If you lump in Walker’s stats with that of the finalists, he ranks fourth in points per game, rebounds per game, tied for second in assists per game (Portis and Reid also averaged 1.3 assists per contest), fourth in field-goal percentage, and third in three-point percentage.

More to the point, with the Nets finishing with a 32-50 record, all of the finalists’ teams finished with at least 46 wins and were at worst in the play-in tournament. Also, Walker’s play during the second half of the season did not match how he began the year, partly because of a hamstring injury that cost him 17 games.

Through November, Walker averaged 14.6 points, 2.6 rebounds, and 1.6 assists per game while shooting 48.9% from the field and 46.3% from deep. However, he suffered a hamstring injury in a 129-128 loss against the Charlotte Hornets on Nov. 30 and missed the following 17 contests with the injury.

Since returning from the injury, Walker was not the same as he averaged just 7.7 points, 2.0 rebounds, and 1.1 assists per game while shooting 38.5% from the field 34.1% from behind the three-point line. The drop in his overall shooting efficiency led to a reduction in his role as well and from there, Walker found his spot within Brooklyn’s rotation to be unstable at best.

Story originally appeared on Nets Wire