Kemba Walker’s transformation during the past year was incredible to watch. He went from a decent point guard to (arguably) the best college basketball player in the nation. Then he took his UConn team from being perceived as a fringe postseason squad to national champions while absolutely dominating the NCAA tournament and earning his degree a year early.
Simply put, Walker is a winner and no one can question that. What apparently has been questioned is his value as a top 10 pick in the 2011 NBA Draft.
Reports are circulating that Walker could drop deep into the lottery or even out of it during Thursday night’s draft. Many projections had Walker landing with the Sacramento Kings at No. 7, but if he is not off the board after that pick it could be a long wait. The Kings are looking at Walker along with Kawhi Leonard, Jimmer Fredette and Alec Burks with their pick.
The Toronto Raptors (No. 5) and Detroit Pistons (No. 8) have been in on Walker from the start, but both teams have apparently cooled a bit on him. After that, things could get dicey for Kemba.
At No. 9, the Charlotte Bobcats are looking at Chris Singleton and Marcus Morris, and already have an undersized point guard on the roster in D.J. Augustin. The Milwaukee Bucks (No. 10) and Golden State (No. 11) are set in the backcourt. The Utah Jazz (No. 12) could take Walker if they decided to go with size at No. 3, but most experts think they’ll take Kentucky point guard Brandon Knight at that spot. The Suns (No. 13) could take him if they end up moving Steve Nash. But that’s a big if.
The Rockets (No. 14) and Pacers (No. 15) would likely jump on Walker if he’s available, but that’s a long wait for a player whose play on the court has been so impressive.
If the Kings pass on Walker at No. 7, the only way we see him going quickly after that is if someone trades up to take him.
Hopefully for Walker, he’s not waiting in the green room for too long Thursday night.