2011 NBA Draft: Kemba Walker Rising into the Lottery with Great Postseason
Kemba Walker's 2011 NBA Draft Stock Has Been Rapidly Rising In Recent Weeks
It seemed like a few weeks ago, Kemba Walker was a mid-late first-round pick with a lot of upside leading the Connecticut Huskies in the tough Big East. After an amazing run in the Big East Tournament, including a game-winner where he looked like an NBA star, his stock has continued to rise.
The big knock on Walker is, of course, his size. While I'd be fine with a 6'1 point guard, having those extra few inches would make all the difference, since he has played more like a two guard in college. In fact, scoring first and passing second is the other knock on him.
As for where he is on big boards and mock drafts now, ESPN's Chad Ford has him ranked 10th, nothing:
"Walker may be small in stature, but he has a HUGE heart. He has taken UConn on his back this season and has become one of the most prolific scorers in college basketball. He has great quickness, speed in the open court and has really improved his jump shot this season."
Steve Kyler of HoopsWorld, meanwhile, has Walker going seventh in the draft, comparing him to Ben Gordon:
"The similarities between Kemba Walker and Detroit's Ben Gordon, a UCONN alum, are almost uncanny. Both are electric scorers, both have a non-stop motor and both do not translate well as point guards in the NBA."
The Ben Gordon comparison was one I hadn't thought of, but actually does fit very well. He's undersized for the shooting guard spot like Gordon was, and he doesn't really play like a point guard.
Unlike others, however, Walker has proven to me that he can carry games when he needs to. He may shoot first, but as long as they go down in the clutch, which they have been doing, that's what matters. I think he's a great prospect and would have no problem picking him in the top ten.
Yes, he's not going to notch eight assists a game, but Derrick Rose doesn't either, and I don't think anyone minds that.
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