Jarace Walker is a physical power forward with terrific defensive versatility and size to potentially play two or three positions at the next level. Walker should be a top ten pick without much hesitation, but will likely not go off the board in the top five picks. Check out which team fits Walker’s skillset best, as well as our best NBA comparison and list of strengths and weaknesses. Other scouting reports can quickly be found on the Lineups 2023 Big Board or Final Mock Draft as well.
Jarace Walker Scouting Report
Walker has ideal measurements for the modern-day power forward, standing around 6-foot-8 with a major plus wingspan. With his length, Walker could even play some small-ball five for a team that is looking to stay more mobile.
Weight: 249 lbs
Position: Power Forward
College/ Professional Team: Houston
Strengths: Walker’s most obvious strength is his versatility/switchability on the defensive end of the floor. As we discuss below, Walker’s best comparison at the NBA level is Bam Adebayo; he can defend 1-5 with relative ease and will only continue to improve as he develops. Additionally, Walker’s ability to shoot off the catch is going to make him very deployable from the get-go and also gives him a necessary and translatable NBA skill for today’s modern power forwards and centers.
Weaknesses: Every weakness that Walker possesses revolves around his ability to score, shoot, and make plays off of the dribble. As a catch-and-shoot shooter, Walker had pretty solid success at Houston; however, he did not display much offensive versatility off the dribble. While some of this might be due to him filling his role for the Cougars and not being an indictment on his talent, NBA teams still wish they could have seen more of him creating for himself. Still, Walker’s floor as an NBA player is relatively high, and he is well worth a top-ten pick.
Jarace Walker Stats
Jarace Walker NBA Comparison: Power Forward version of Bam Adebayo w/ jump shot
Neither Bam Adebayo nor Jarace Walker is exceptionally tall (both roughly 6-foot-8); however, they are broad and stout, boasting wide shoulders and impressive strength in both their upper and lower bodies. Besides just the obvious physical similarities, they also have a unique ability to switch all positions; Walker can turn into an Adebayo-esque defender at the next level. The two key differences between them are that Walker has shooting upside from behind the arc and plays power forward instead of center. Regardless, this is the most straightforward comparison and helps illustrate the upside Walker has at the next level.
Jarace Walker Highlights
Walker played a very specific role for the Houston Cougars, a team that was guard-heavy and featured All-American Marcus Sasser, who was bound to command most of the offensive volume. However, before his collegiate career, Walker showed flashes of playmaking that could be translatable skills.
Jarace Walker NBA Draft Ranking, Team Fit, Landing Spot
Draft Ranking: 6
Team Fit: Indiana
Indiana has a solid combination of talented youth and veteran experience in its backcourt, including Buddy Hield, Tyrese Haliburton, Benn Mathurin, Andrew Nembard, Chris Duarte, and T.J. McConnell. While a few players like Hield and Duarte may be moved relatively soon, it is clear that the Pacers have their backcourt of the future with Mathurin, Nembhard, and Haliburton; they need a power forward to complement Myles Turner. Walker is arguably the best fit for Indiana, and luckily, he should be available when it picks at No. 7.
Landing Spot: Indiana
When considering the list of prospects and the teams picking ahead of Indiana, Walker seems to be a likely candidate for the ‘Cers. Wembanyama will go first overall, with Brandon Miller and Scoot Henderson following. Then, the Houston Rockets pick fourth overall; they will go with one of the Thompson twins or Cam Whitmore. Detroit should take Whitmore or Amen Thompson if he is still there, leaving only Orlando. The Magic don’t need forwards, as there is already an overload in that department. Instead, Orlando is likely to go with a guard, possibly Ausar Thompson. All things considered, Walker should be available at No. 7, and Indiana will be happy to take him.