Trail Blazers Sign Second-Rounder Jabari Walker

The Trail Blazers have signed second-round pick Jabari Walker to a standard contract, the team announced in a press release.

Walker, who turns 20 later this month, was the 57th pick of last month’s draft after two seasons at Colorado. In 33 games (28.1 MPG) for the Buffaloes last season, Walker averaged 14.6 PPG and 9.4 RPG on .461/.346/.784 shooting, earning first-team All-Pac-12 honors in the process.

The 6’9″ forward has had a stellar Summer League with Portland thus far, posting averages of 13.0 PPG and 8.3 RPG on .682/.375/.667 shooting in three games (19.6 MPG).

The terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the Blazers had a small portion of their mid-level exception remaining to give Walker a contract that exceeds two years if they wanted to. Most of their mid-level was used to sign Gary Payton II.

Portland now has 15 players on standard deals, with one two-way spot still open. Although his last name is quite common, it’s worth noting that Walker is the son of former NBA player Samaki Walker.

As Sean Highkin of The Rose Garden Report tweets, the younger Walker recently said his father taught him one of the keys to having a long career is to understand his role.

My dad taught me that a ‘role player’ isn’t a bad thing. You can make a lot of money being a role player. You can be a starter being a role player. A lot of people don’t embrace that. So that’s going to be an advantage for me,” he said.

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