We are just over two weeks away from the NBA Draft on Thursday, June 22nd and I could not be more excited. Players like Jarace Walker, Cam Whitmore, Taylor Hendricks, and the Thompson twins will hear their names called and will have their electrifying NBA futures ahead of them. The question until then remains – where will each of these players land and who will rise causing the others to fall?
Last week I put out a number of Early NBA Draft Bets, and with lots of new reports coming to the surface since then, I have another play as well as one that I have already hedged myself out of. Be sure to check out my Twitter @AndyHHSports for constant updates like this and more, as these NBA Draft markets are volatile and always changing. With that out of the way and the tweet linked below, let’s add some more plays to our Draft portfolio as we continue to build in anticipation for the big night!
F, Jarace Walker – Houston
Draft Position Over 6.5 (-150) – 1 Unit
Jarace Walker is an elite defender out of Houston that has been talked of as high as a Top 5 potential in this Draft at times due to that facet of his game, paired with a big frame and stellar scoring around the basket. Walker’s solid rebounding in college also helps his case in this year’s draft, as he averaged 6.8 rebounds per game off of a 14.6% rebounding percentage. His finishing ability around the rim often showcases how powerful he can be, as the 6’7” forward weighs in at 249 lbs, making him one of the bigger forwards in this draft. The man looks MASSIVE on the court with his 7’2.5” wingspan, and will always be a threat in the paint against any opponent.
Offensively I am a bit worried about Walker’s game, as he was not a very good shooter in college and struggled to make his free throws at a super high clip. Walker averaged 34.7% from behind the arc, averaging a three made per game off 2.8 attempts. His effective FG% and True Shooting also left a lot to be desired at 51.6% and 53.4% respectively, and we didn’t see him really get super adventurous behind the arc until halfway through Houston’s season. I think he will be great at scoring the ball inside, but does that really make him stand out offensively?
We know that NBA teams have really valued forwards who can defend in the last several years of the Draft, and Walker is no different in that he is one of the best defenders in this class. However, I do not put as much weight as others do on what role he played in high school. I care more about the lesser offensive role he played at Houston, paired with the low free throw percentage and unproven skills as a shooter. I believe that Walker is without a doubt a top talent in this draft and will have a great career, but with NBA teams continuously showing us they are going to shoot for potential over role players, I just think we know where Walker’s cap might be someday.
I could be totally wrong on this one, and I will make sure to be the first to own it if I am, but I think Walker will end up being a strong defensive player for years to come as either a key defensive-focused starter on the wing or four spot, or an excellent defensive option off the bench. NBA teams are dying for defense and the Playoffs the last couple of years have shown how annoying teams with plenty of defenders can be in a league that gets criticized for lack of effort on that end of the ball. Walker is an exceptional talent in being able to guard any type of player across multiple speeds, sizes, and styles of play. But his offensive limitations frighten me, which brings him a bit lower on my board.
In an NBA Draft where most people regard Victor Wembanyama, Scoot Henderson, and Brandon Miller as the top three prospects, there then becomes the question of would Houston, Detroit, or Orlando take their shot on Walker. We know Ime Udoka absolutely adores defense, and whether you buy the rumors of Harden to Houston or not, I believe that you can still get defense plus amazing upside potential from either of the Thompson twins or Cam Whitmore. The same can be said for Detroit who needs to shoot for the best available player and find even more upside on a roster with no real identity yet. Finally, any Orlando Magic fan would be the first to tell you that this team needs more scoring and has actually been fairly sound defensively for the last year and a half now. With Walker not really fitting the mold of star potential or offensive firepower, I believe that his Draft Position over 6.5 is worth the price at -150.
THIS IS AN ARTICLE WRITTEN BY ANDY CHASE
NFL Week 13 Betting Preview and Breakdown - Best Bets and Analysis for NFL Betting & More Thanksgiving is now behind us and we are into the final third of the NFL season, which means it is time to kick off our NFL Week 13 betting! Following a week where...