The Washington Wizards hold the 15th and 44th overall picks in the 2018 NBA Draft. Here is the latest in our series on draft prospects projected to be picked around where the Wizards will select...
2018 NBA Draft Wizards Prospect Preview: Lonnie Walker IV
Position: Shooting guard
Max vertical: 40
2017/18 stats: 11.5 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 1.9 apg, 0.9 spg, 0.5 bpg, 41.5 FG%, 34.6 3PT% (1.8 3P/5.1 3PA), 73.8 FT%
Player comparison: Tim Hardaway, Jr./Ben McLemore
Projections: NBC Sports Washington 17th, NBADraft.net 17th, Bleacher Report 10th, Sports Illustrated 13th
5 things to know:
*Walker is a freak athlete that offers a very high ceiling. He is 6-foot-5, strong and has a plus wingspan to go along with a very impressive 40-inch vertical leap. He is also quick and agile with the ability to blow past defenders especially on the fastbreak.
*Though he's extremely athletic, Walker is a raw talent. He doesn't have a refined skillset offensively. He needs work on his ball-handling and his jumpshot. The potential for him to become an above average scorer is there, but it's unlikely he makes that sort of impact right away.
*Walker isn't a high efficiency player. He shot a poor percentage from the field (41.5%) and required 9.9 field goal attempts per game to score 11.5 points.
*He only shot 34.6 percent from three at Miami, but could light it up when he got hot. Nine times this season he made three threes or more in a game and three times he made five. Twice he went 5-for-7 from three, which is very good.
*Walker hasn't shown the ability to rack up numbers in other categores like assists and rebounds. Right now, he's not the most versatile player. If he is going to just be a scorer in the NBA, he better be very good at that or else he will need to develop other ways to impact games.
Fit with Wizards: The Wizards need depth behind Bradley Beal at shooting guard, so Walker could fit in well positionally. The problem is that he doesn't play other positions and would have no long-term opening to start.
The Wizards may have to make a tough decision on draft night if the best big men are not available because most of the players projected to be in their range are guards. They have two All-Star guards already and both are signed long-term.
If drafted by the Wizards, Walker would provide athleticism to their bench and potentially give them a nice scoring punch. The Wizards could use a player who can create his own shot on their bench and Walker could do that someday soon.
Best highlight video:
More draft prospect profiles:
NBC Sports Washington is on Apple News. Favorite us!