2011 NBA Mock Draft: Could Kemba Walker Make the Indiana Pacers Relevant Again?
In the 2011 NBA Draft, some teams will be looking for a player that they can add to their team, while others will be looking for the player to build their team around.
Kemba Walker of the Connecticut Huskies could be the latter, especially if he was drafted by the right team.
If the Indiana Pacers decide to take a shot on the small guard who has a big heart, they could reach that next level of play in the NBA today.
Walker may be a bit undersized at the point guard position for the next level, but he does not exactly fit into the shooting guard spot. Fortunately, he more than makes up for a lack of size with his overall play.
The Pacers have progressed greatly since the firing of Jim O'Brien, led by the emergence of Tyler Hansbrough. Just think what adding another national champion such as Walker could do for the team's offense.
Chad Ford of ESPN said of the UConn star that he could make a very nice draft prospect.
"I wouldn't bet against Walker, especially not after his heroic performances at the Maui Invitational and Big East tournament," says Ford. "He's fearless. If there was one guy you'd put your money on to have a big tournament, it's him. The rest of his team may let him down, but Walker has earned the respect of everyone, including NBA GMs. A likely top-10 pick."
Prior to the 2011 NCAA Tournament and Final Four, I was not completely sold on Walker as a top 10 pick. I believed that the talent was clearly there, but that his height may scare off a few teams. He may be listed at 6'1'' but he is probably a tad shy of six feet overall. He can flat out carry a team.
Now, after watching him carry the Huskies to the national championship, I don't believe that there is anything that this youngster cannot do at any level.
He has demonstrated that time and time again this year, as this was expected to be a rebuilding season for the Huskies. Walker has made it into a title year.
The Pacers are a decent team with a lot of young talent on the roster. Walker would not propel Indiana ahead of teams such as Boston and Chicago right away, but as he and his teammates continue to develop, this team would be able to take a huge step forward.
For more on the 2011 NBA Draft, make sure to check out Bleacher Report Correspondent Jason Heim, who takes a look at the 2011 NBA Mock Draft: Which Wildcat Goes First, Brandon Knight or Terrence Jones?
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