Houston’s Jarace Walker is a projected top-10 pick, currently ranked No. 7 on ESPN’s big board. As Scott Agness of Fieldhouse Files writes, Walker’s workout on Wednesday with the Pacers, who control the No. 7 overall pick, was actually his first with an NBA team, but he has upcoming workouts with the Pistons (No. 5) and Jazz (No. 9).
A strong, long-armed forward who is viewed as one of the best defenders in the draft, Walker could fill an immediate need for Indiana at the four if he’s available on draft night, Agness notes. The Pacers are reportedly searching for a starting power forward and need help defensively.
“I think my biggest asset is my defense, just my versatility there,” Walker said, stressing that he wants to show that he’s more than a good defender. “That’s what people focus on, but there’s so many other things on the floor that I can do.”
The 19-year-old cited Luguentz Dort and Jrue Holiday as a couple of burly defenders he looks up to, according to Agness.
Here are a few more notes on the 2023 NBA draft, which will take place June 22:
- The Pacers have been extremely busy hosting prospects for workouts, and that will continue on Thursday, Agness tweets. Tyger Campbell (UCLA), Sidy Cissoko (G League Ignite), Markquis Nowell (Kansas State), Ben Sheppard (Belmont), Hunter Tyson (Clemson) and Jalen Wilson (Kansas) will be the six participants. Sheppard is currently the highest-rated of the group on ESPN’s list, coming in at No. 37. In addition to No. 7, Indiana also controls the Nos. 26, 29, 32 and 55 picks
- Eastern Michigan wing Emoni Bates has had a busy schedule leading up to the draft, reportedly working out for nearly half the league already. A source tells Adam Zagoria of ZagsBlog.com (Twitter link) that Bates will be visiting the Bucks on Friday. He’s currently No. 51 on ESPN’s board.
- While much ink has (understandably) been spilled about what the Pistons might do at No. 5, they control the 31st pick in the draft as well. Omari Sankofa II of The Detroit Free Press (subscriber link) examines six 3-and-D wings who might be available with the second-rounder, including Xavier’s Colby Jones (No. 28 on ESPN’s board) UCLA’s Jaime Jaquez (No. 30), and Pepperdine’s Maxwell Lewis (No. 32).