We’re starting to reach the point where opinions will vary widely, with the top ten selection in the bag, and the first winner of this draft stock potpourri is Lonnie Walker IV. The freshman guard out of Miami didn’t wow folks with his raw stats (16.6 pts, 3.7 rbs, 2.7 ast per-40), but he’s making the most of his individual workouts with teams to flash his impressive athleticism.
At the combine, he showed out by finishing in the top 15 for both standing leap and max vert, as well as within that range for all three sprinting exercises. His shuttle run and three quarter sprint both found him in the top three of all prospects. Those gaudy stats are tantalizing for teams looking to upgrade their wing depth, as Walker’s 6’4” height comes with a 6’10” wingspan. On 5.1 3-point attempts per game last season, Walker converted 34.6% of them, to go with a 73.8% rate from the stripe, albeit on only 2.0 attempts per game.
The lack of free throw attempts is concerning for a guy who was the main feature of Miami’s offense last year, alongside Bruce Brown. Walker led the team in field goal attempts, but his shaky dribbling ability indicates he may have trouble finding his way to easy baskets in the league. It seemed like a good number of his 3-pointers came off quick passes or relied on his own confidence, so it’ll be curious to see how well he could operate flashing off screens and getting his shot off at the next level. The Stepien talks about his lack of feel within a team construct, both offensively and defensively, which is concerning for a player who spent the last year as “the guy” for his team, but that could also explain away some of those lapses given he felt the need to shoulder a load.
Based upon brief observations and reading more, Walker seems like the kind of athletic guy where workouts might overstate his value. His smooth shooting strokes shows promise though so there’s clearly a place for him in the league. I’m just not sure if he has the size to body guys up properly on defense and his right meniscus knee injury hopefully won’t flare up again for whichever team drafts him. With doubts about his own ability to create, I see flashes of Tony Snell the more I thought about him, albeit with additional athleticism and swagger.
Brew Hoop Community Draft Board Rankings
1. Deandre Ayton - C, Arizona (The Stepien Profile)
2. Luka Doncic - PG, Real Madrid (The Stepien Profile)
3. Marvin Bagley III - C, Duke (The Stepien Profile)
4. Jaren Jackson Jr. - PF/C, Michigan State (The Stepien Profile)
5. Mohamed Bamba - PF/C Texas (The Stepien Profile)
6. Michael Porter Jr. - PF, Mizzou (The Stepien Profile)
7. Trae Young - PG, Oklahoma (The Stepien Profile)
8. Mikal Bridges - SF/PF, Villanova (The Stepien Profile)
9. Wendell Carter Jr. - PF/C, Duke (The Stepien Profile)
10. Miles Bridges - SF/PF, Michigan State (The Stepien Profile)
11. Lonnie Walker IV - SG, Miami (The Stepien Profile)
My Pick for the #12 Spot on the Community Draft Board is:
This poll is closed
Kevin Knox - SF/PF, Kentucky
Collin Sexton - PG, Alabama
Zhaire Smith - SG, Texas Tech
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander - PG, Kentucky
Robert Williams - C, Texas A&M
Troy Brown - SG, Oregon
Other (Please leave in the comments)