Future Friday: Jarace Walker

[00:00:00] Dustin: All right everybody. Welcome to the 325th edition of the Holy Backboard Podcast. I am Dustin here in Rip City, and I got my

[00:00:18] Sage: man Sage chilling live and direct. Very excited about this podcast, man. You know the blazer. . It is what it is. This like, we’re expected to talk about the blazers and that’s great, but it’s kind of hard to talk about having two Amma, amazing sieves defensively and how we don’t have the capabilities of making it work with, you know, the two D two bad defenders.

[00:00:42] But this, this is inspiring. I love talking about prospects and what they can potentially be in the league, and I’m so happy to be doing this again. I mean, it’s a bummer. Blazers are at a place where we probably feel comfortable talking about these prospects and for the chance that we can get ’em, [00:01:00] but I am.

[00:01:00] I’m ready. I’m ready to.

[00:01:02] Dustin: Speaking of that comfort level, the Blazers currently sit 10th right now in the lottery rankings, uh, 28 and 30, uh, heading coming out of, uh, the All-Star Break. They also would own the New York Nick’s pick, um, which would be 20 seconds. So, you know, we really have the whole range of draft prospects to cover this year.

[00:01:23] While it would be unlikely for Portland to sneak into the top four. Funnier things have happened, but when you also factor in that, that Nick’s pick there, there is ways to maneuver up a a little bit here and a little bit there. And as you mentioned, second year of doing our future Friday content series.

[00:01:39] Uh, really fun to get a deep dive into these prospects. And it’s also interesting to see who you hit on. Uh, who you missed on, uh, even, even early on in their rookie seasons. And it’s just a really fun way to follow the league because a lot of these players, they’re not on national TV because they’re getting drafted to teams.

[00:01:58] Uh, probably not ready to [00:02:00] win championships when we all know the N B A likes to showcase the same handful of teams. Uh, Across their networks. So it’s, it’s still fun to catch those highlights and see how they’re doing, climbing up their rookie ladder and so on. But without further ado, the, the first prospect of the 2023, uh, draft class that we will be, uh, discussing in our future Friday series is Power Forward, uh, Jarris Walker from the University of Houston.

[00:02:26] Uh, a quick rundown. Jarris and how his season is going so far. Currently, he’s uh, playing for the number one team in the land, both in the AP and the coaches poll. Uh, the Houston Cougars are, are 25 and two, uh, at the moment. Jarris is a five star recruit. Uh, he was the 12th player overall, uh, coming out of I M G Academy.

[00:02:47] Same place where Portland, trailblazer Guard, Anthony Simons, uh, came from. And he, like I mentioned, he was the, the 12th player overall ranked by, by rivals. Um, and not the moment. Uh, the ringer [00:03:00] has JS fifth on their big board, and Thankathon has js uh, seventh on their big board. I’ve been checking out mock drafts and I’ve seen him climb as high as four.

[00:03:10] So there’s kind of a range of really early lottery to maybe top 10. So it, it’s starting to get fluid in the sense of you have a lot of collegiate games under the season or under their wings. The players are starting to separate from one another and teams can kind of see, uh, who they’re going to target.

[00:03:29] Uh, so far in, in 26 games, Jarris is playing 26 minutes per game. Uh, just over 11 points on nearly 50% shooting from the field. 39% from three on two and a half attempts, uh, six and a half rebounds to assist a block of steel. Um, as I mentioned, starting for the number one team in the country. Sage, this is a prospect that you were, uh, most excited to talk about.

[00:03:55] Like

[00:03:55] Sage: Doug. I’ve never smiled this much for a Holy Backboard podcast.

[00:03:58] Dustin: You, you always [00:04:00] pick a handful of guys each year. A couple years ago it was Desmond Bain and Xavier Tillman. Uh, both ended. Coincidentally enough on Memphis, and I would say Desmond Bain has probably been the steal of that draft class going in the last pick of the first round, and arguably a top three player from that class.

[00:04:17] Uh, last year you were really, really high on a Chet Holmgren, um, that the, it, it’s, the book has still been yet to be written on Chet weather, whether the injuries are going to be a prolonged.

[00:04:32] hamstring for, for him if he’s gonna be hamstring by them, or if he’s going to kind of break the mold like Joelle and bead was, and play up to an all b a caliber potential. Uh, but jarris, you, you’ve said it, uh, from, from from the jump. He is your guy from this draft class. Uh, t tell the listeners why that is.

[00:04:48] Sage: I, I think the versatility in what he can do on the basketball court is just so diverse. Like offensively, he could be, you know, a like a hub playmaking [00:05:00] wise, that can make decisions. He can isolate against smaller guys and post them up. He can go against bigger guys and go around them and score. He probably has the best floater in college at six nine and is a horse.

[00:05:15] He just has so much you can do. Like if you need him to make that pass, he’ll make that pass and it’s gonna have mustard on it and it’s gonna be. , like a good read, like I watch Anthony Simons try and play point guard and then I look at Jarris Walker making plays offensively tr setting up his bigs or sledding, setting up the corner shooter.

[00:05:34] And I’m like, damn, if an could only pass like the six nine power forward, we could be in such a better position. So it’s really the versatility offensively and defensively. I, I think we should talk about as offense first because there might be more moles on it than the defense, which I think I, I haven’t really seen a better.

[00:05:53] Rookie or freshman defender than him. He, he outside of Webe, which I think he’s just [00:06:00] such a unicorn. He’s probably the best defensive prospect in this draft at six nine. So it’s just the versatility of what you can do it, like whoever the coach is can put him in so many different ways and lanes and he can, he can be a good basketball player.

[00:06:17] So that’s what makes me so curious about what he can do in the. Like he’s on Houston. They’re the number one team in the nation. They’re not highlighting him. Like if he went to lsu, if you went to lsu, he could be number three on people’s boards because of his versatility. But he’s on the best team in the league playing really good basketball, playing really hard, playing in their really difficult defensive scheme, and looks like the best defensive prospect.

[00:06:46] So I’m just amazed

[00:06:46] Dustin: at his versatility. So you’re looking at a player. Standing six eight wing two 40 is measured so far via the ringer to have a seven two wpa. So he’s able to make up for that. [00:07:00] Probably smaller stature, size-wise. Mm-hmm. as as a power forward, and I think both you and I are. Pretty convinced he’s a four, maybe a small ball, five.

[00:07:07] I think he could definitely do

[00:07:08] Sage: the small ball five

[00:07:09] Dustin: and at at, at the next level. And offensively, let’s kind of get into, get into it first. Um, where it starts and, and stops, uh, I think is, Shooting right in, in the modern N B A game, you have to be able to at least keep the defense honest. We always talk about Nair Little and he has to shoot League average to stay on the floor, which he has done with, with Jarris Walker.

[00:07:31] The, the form I, I don’t see too many issues with, with the form, but uh, it’s still. Right now it’s basically just, just catch and shoot. He does have a little bit of a wonderful pull up, maybe two feet inside the collegiate, three point arc. Those are really his, his go-to moves. Um, at the moment outside the floater.

[00:07:51] Yeah. Yeah. And he loves the floater, almost like he loves the floater float to a fault . Yeah. With, with that athleticism and length, you, you would like to see him [00:08:00] grow into a finisher. Like he’s initiating the contact, he’s getting to the line kind of in that Zion Williamson mold where he kinda just puts his head down, and you have to, you have to really want to take that charge, right?

[00:08:12] Yeah. Yeah. It’s a

[00:08:13] Sage: business decision. What you want to do with Jarris, because he, he’s built, he, he, 6 8 40, he’s a take, he’s a fucking, But he’s a skill tank. Like that’s a, he’s a skill tank. I, I Are you worried about a shot?

[00:08:29] Dustin: It’s not Michael Kid Gilchrist levels of worried, but it’s not shade and sharp coming out of the draft.

[00:08:34] Like it, it doesn’t look perfect and it looks so here, here’s the good. I see he does have a bit of a quick high release on the catch and shoots like we’ve seen Jeremy Grant do this year. Mm-hmm. , and I think that’s perfect for what you want him to do. I. , I don’t think, and, and I’ve seen the, the Kauai Leonard comparisons and I don’t quite, I don’t think he’s gonna hit that ceiling.

[00:08:55] I think Kauai is, you talk about Webe being a unicorn. I think Kauai is, is in a, a [00:09:00] level of, of his own as well. I don’t think offensively he’ll get to that level of shot creation. And I think that’s what separates that. But I do think he could be respectable. And I think when you’re drafting jarris, , you’re drafting him to be more of a playmaker.

[00:09:15] Mm-hmm. on offense. And to be your anchor defensively, like on offense, he’s probably gonna be your fourth or fifth option. Like you’re not gonna be running a lot of sets for him. You’ll be running sets through him, if that makes sense. Like he’s gonna be kind of an air traffic controller and if he happens to get a corner three.

[00:09:31] Uh, so be it maybe four or five years down the line, you could see him start to get some isolation. Mm-hmm. , like Julius Randall type of sets, but I think that’s far in, in the distance, like a team getting him that’s second contract Jarris. Yeah. A team now is focusing defensively and then, hey, can you just, can you just leak average from three and distribute the basketball, uh, in the middle of the floor?

[00:09:54] Similar to what Golden State utilizes dream on green end. Like they put a lot of trust in him and that is. [00:10:00] A major skillset to have, and Portland has needed that for, for so many years. Mm-hmm. . But to get the ball in the middle of the floor, the middle of the floor is a way to break any defense known to man.

[00:10:11] You are able to, uh, make the correct decision. You’re gonna be unstoppable there. So as long as he can hit a foul line jumper and continue to make the correct passes, uh, you’re gonna see him stay on the floor. And if he’s able to that, that’s where he is gonna be Really success. Success. as a small ball.

[00:10:27] Five, if you can really hone in on the decision making and cut down on the turnovers at the N B A level

[00:10:33] Sage: and, and, you know, Draymond’s like six six, he’s, he’s a, he’s a solid 6, 8, 6 9, so you even have more height. The fact that we’re talking about a 18 year old freshman student, As like, I could see him doing the Dream on Green role as a passer and as a, as a decision maker from the Power Forward Center position, just shows his versatility.

[00:10:55] Like I’m, I’ve been watching a lot of his [00:11:00] games recently and the way that he’s shooting. , there’s that confidence in it. So if he has that confidence in himself to take and make shots, cuz he’s hitting 40% off catch and shoot. And I think that’s a, like if he can hit, hit at that marker in the league off of catch and shoot, all that shooting stuff is kind of like, it doesn’t really matter.

[00:11:20] If he can, if he can just hit the. I, I, I mean, he’s in a deserve way, more of a closeout than Josh Hart. But if he can, if Dr. If Dame’s Gravity allows for him to get an open shot, if he’s hitting at a 40% catch and shoot marker, I’m fine with that. And then if they close out on him, he has all of these tools in the bag to either make a play for himself, get to the line, use the floater, hit somebody with the correct.

[00:11:48] that’s a lot of use, that’s a lot of things that he can do for a basketball team. And like I’m, I’m not really worried about the shot because I’ve seen him take some like contested threes and then on the next [00:12:00] possession block the shot of the first knees defending and then, you know, run back for a dunk.

[00:12:04] So like, I think, I think the playmaking has to be something that is what you’re counting on because there’s not that many six, nine Playmakers. Can just make things happen like the way Jarris does. So I think I’m, I’m, what’s that?

[00:12:21] Dustin: I was gonna say, I, I think you talk about the, the, the shot, uh, the shot making and the, the decision making.

[00:12:28] Something that’s not gonna show up on the stat sheet. I, I think, you know, the, the quote unquote, he’s got that dog in him. He, he, he’s the dogies of the dogs. He hustles like, oh yeah. There are videos about how he defends inbound passes because it’s, it’s a similar thing of Kevin Love on in his outlet passes.

[00:12:44] Mm-hmm. There, there was just that, that trait that he has. He’s got some Gerald Wallace in his game and if he can become a better shooting, Gerald Wallace, um, that Gerald Wallace was an all N B A player. He was an all-star. and if he can refine [00:13:00] his skillset along the way so he is not out of the league, once that athleticism, uh, declines, once he hits that, that 30 year mark, um, that’s really where I see like I really can see him playing that role because he just is everywhere.

[00:13:14] And that’s Gerald Wal nickname was Crash. Like he would do anything and everything and he just has that intangible, um, just want to, just to be the, that dog out there. And I. . Every frigging team needs someone like that. Especially when you’re playing 82 games and maybe you’re on the second night of a back to back in Indianapolis, like you might not have the most energy in the world.

[00:13:37] You can count on Jarris to set the tone, and if he can become kind of that tone setter that that official. , uh, kind of the Secretary of Defense in on that end of the court, that is going to make up for, I mean, he’s gonna be worth his weight in engulfed really, if he’s able to do that and have that type of impact.

[00:13:59] Sage: Are we, are we [00:14:00] talking about a potential all defensive player with

[00:14:03] Dustin: Jarris Walker? You would, I mean, if, if he, if you’re saying a prospect is the best defender in the draft class, absolutely. Mathis St. Was the best defender in that draft class, first team, all defense twice. So, absolutely. I, I think that has to be something you’re almost, I don’t wanna say expecting, but you have to somewhat expect it when you’re drafting a player that I, I think he’s gonna, do you think

[00:14:25] Sage: he’s a better

[00:14:26] Dustin: defender than Evan Mobley?

[00:14:29] The thing about Evan is he has traits that Jarris will never be able to get. Yeah. And he’s able, like he’s, he’s just bigger. Mm-hmm. and he’s taller. Um, he’s blank. It’s, I think they’re similar. It’s different. It’s different. I, I mean, the

[00:14:45] Sage: impact that both of

[00:14:46] Dustin: those can make, it’s like you can, you can have, it’ll be a different type of defense.

[00:14:50] Tell, yeah, because Drand is a different defender than Mobley. But I would argue Peak Draymond is one of the best defenders of all time. It’s just how you’re [00:15:00] able to defend. Can you get leverage. I mean, we’ve seen Draymond lock up Yoic because he knows how to get leverage. He studies the game, he knows what he wants to do.

[00:15:09] just like Barclay on, on the rebounding. He was like six four, but he studied where the trajectory of the ball would go off. Mm-hmm. and place his body there. Like there are, and then this is where it separates the elite from just the, the average N B A players. And I think it’s something that has escaped scouts for, for all, all of mankind is just, there’s an intangible factor.

[00:15:31] Are the players going to want it enough? Are they a student of the game? Is it just a natural instinct too? Because some players have it and some players don’t. Like they can see the game, it slows down for them. If he’s able to bring all that together, you’re looking at like a first team perennial, not just one or two perennial defender.

[00:15:48] Um, and defenders get paid, so it, it is not a bad. Skillset to hang your hat on if, if you’re Jarris Walker, because in today’s N B A, if you could defend, you’re gonna get bigger [00:16:00] contracts than guys who can put up 25. Totally. And

[00:16:03] Sage: I, I remember hearing Kelvin Sampson say how teachable he is at this level. He wants to get better and he listens to his coaches to get better.

[00:16:14] So to have like a guy that’s willing to. Criticism and use it to a good advan. Like I remember when I was 19, I don’t want to hear people tell me that I wasn’t good at this part of being on the radio or whatever. Like to be able to have the maturity to say, okay, okay coach, I will do that and then be able to utilize it.

[00:16:37] And dude, like it’s, it’s just the, he can fit in any scheme. Like if you’re trying to blit. I’ve seen him just take the ball out of point guard’s hands when he is blitzing on the double team. We’ve made poor use of nerd try and blitz all last year, but Jarris Walker can do that. He can ice up, pick and roll, he can hedge, he can do anything that [00:17:00] you need him to do and I like, I would love to see use of, if you still on the team, be able to be the big brother to Jarris and teach him like all of the things that he can do.

[00:17:12] Do you think Jarris Walker. Is a good pairing for Damien now and Shaden Sharp in the future?

[00:17:22] Dustin: That’s a really good question. Um, thanks. Personally, if I’m Portland and there is not another megastar on, on the market, um, first of all, I’m not trading Shaden Sharp under any circumstances. No, that, that’s been my stance almost since I saw.

[00:17:39] that, that first game against Sacramento, I was like, this, this kid’s too special. So when I am looking at these draft prospects, it’s who is going to work well with Shaden long term. Mm-hmm. . And what you want with, with, with Shaden is obviously a, a defender because Shaden I think is gonna grow into a defender.

[00:17:55] And I think you want someone with a wingspan and athleticism that can get on the [00:18:00] floor and run, but can also get him opportunities in the open court. And when you have a player like Jarris Walker, who’s so good in the passing, Off ball. Mm-hmm. that you’re gonna turn defense into offense, and that that is going to really start to snowball, um, on the op opposition when you’re just getting dunked on by, by sharp, after all of these, you know, turnovers are created.

[00:18:21] Like we, we’ve watched the Blazers this year, especially early on. When they turn the ball over at such a high clip, they, they never won. It just, it takes so many possessions away from them. Mm-hmm. and gives the, their, their opponent so many easy buckets that they already weren’t a good defensive team. So now you’re climbing uphill and there’s really no, no end in sight.

[00:18:41] So I think he fits really well with, with sha. I, I think really outside of Victor wma, I, I don’t know if there’s a prospect that’s going to be ready for Damien and Lillard right now. Mm-hmm. , but again, , I think he could make Dame’s life easier. But if, if the goal is to, to [00:19:00] go all in, like I, I, I don’t know if there’s a rookie outside of Weby that’s helping Dame accomplish that.

[00:19:07] So it’s, it’s hard to say given Dame’s, um, timeline. Uh, I could see Portland keeping, keeping this pick. I could see, see them moving it like, um, it’s just, it’s really interesting. I. Joe Cronin is saying all of the right things, but his actions are kind of saying another, if you know what, if you’re, if you can kind of catch my Yeah, totally drift.

[00:19:29] Like they’re saying, oh, we, we owe it to Dame, but yet every move they make. Seems like they’re preparing for life post dame. So, um, and it also takes, takes two to tango. Like, it, it, it’s when it comes to, uh, a trading partner and what other star is, is on the market. Um, so it’ll be interesting to see. I definitely think it’ll be nice for ’em to play with, um, , a defensive minded big who can make up for some of his, uh, mishaps.

[00:19:54] And then if you’re maybe able to trade ant in the offseason and get, again, more size, more [00:20:00] length, uh, another two-way player, because I think that’s what the league is based on. The best teams have the best two-way players. Um, I mean we,

[00:20:09] Sage: we’ve, we’ve played like. We’ve zigged when everybody’s zagged. Like I feel like the last five years everybody’s been trying to get wings, trying to get wings, and we’ve been going, I mean we’ve drafted some wings like Na, Sierra and Shaden, but we’ve also used a lot of our draft capital and actual capital.

[00:20:27] Capital on six three guards that can score, I think. I think Simon’s as a score as a shooter, probably top 15, top 10, but he’s fucking awful at defense , so it’s. We might need to use our first round pick and get some defense. And if we don’t get wimpy, I think the best defensive prospect is is, is Jarris Walker being able to at least stop some of these penetration drive and kicks and just drive [00:21:00] to the hoop.

[00:21:00] Like we’ve, we’ve watched Drew Eubanks defend the cup, replace Drew Eubanks with Jarris Walker, and I think a lot of shit. doesn’t happen. I, I don’t see, Jarris doesn’t have that insatiable need to jump at everything. He, I, I see him high contest a lot. Of course, he can block the block shots and steal the ball, but the way that he just makes people finish over high hands, it’s like, oh, this dude knows what to do and where to be on the court.

[00:21:30] We’ve seen so often. Players are bumping into each other and cutting when other people are cutting. The main culprit of that is gone. But the, I still see some bad, bad basketball IQ to still have a high basketball iq, high motor, high defensive player. That’s, that’s awesome to me. So I’m, I’m, I’m all about Jarris Walker.

[00:21:49] If, if he’s there when the Blazers pick and we don’t take ’em, I’m gonna be pretty bummed because I think he fits a lot of what we need. And of course Jeremy Grant’s in that position, [00:22:00] but he like, He can move down, Jarris can move up. Uses never been healthy for an entire 82. Like Js is gonna get time and, and like what he can do offensively like we see what Trendon wa can, has developed with shade and sharp.

[00:22:17] I just think Jarris Walker can do the same with shade and sharp on the, on the drives and on the cuts and the LOBs like jars is a really good pass. So, To even put the, the superstar in a better position. I think that’s what the Blazers need to do, is find players that make our superstar’s lives easier, not harder.

[00:22:36] And I think for a long time we’ve made Dame’s life harder. Like we’ve had Kent Baysmore and Evan Turner on the perimeter, just not even being a threat. So if we can get somebody that’s a. man, that’s gonna make whoever our superstar’s life easier. And Shaan and Jarris are similar ages. They can grow together and Jayden’s gonna be that main guy, but Jarris could be [00:23:00] that secondary star next to him.

[00:23:02] Like we, we , we’ve been saying some pretty illustrious people’s names as their player comps. So, uh, what, what are your player comps for Jarris

[00:23:11] Dustin: Walker? Before we begin into the comps, I, I want your opinion. . Okay. We’ve, we’ve pumped him up. We’ve talked about all the things that he’s great at. Where does he struggle?

[00:23:22] What gives you pause when you look at him as a prospect? If he doesn’t hit, it’s gonna be because of what,

[00:23:29] Sage: he’s not aggressive enough getting to the hoop. He, he, he loves that floater. And I think if he can, I like when I see him use that floater it, he’s really good at it, but I feel like it’s kind of, an excuse not to try and finish through contact, and I get it.

[00:23:47] Like there’s always a center in his way. So I, I wonder if N B a spacing makes this problem less of an issue. But he, he, he loves that floater too much. And I, I think if he can just finish in the [00:24:00] lane and dunk it, he’s gonna get the foul wine. It’s gonna increase all of his statistics. dunking it, so I, I I guess it’s the, the non-ag aggression, the, the, the reliance on the floater.

[00:24:13] Cause I, I believe the shot’s gonna be fine. What about you? I

[00:24:19] Dustin: would say I think he’s a, one of the safer picks. I think the floor is pretty high just on the defensive ability alone. Mm-hmm. The ceiling might not get met is if he’s not able to grow into being, being able to take his defender on the perimeter and blow by them.

[00:24:37] Mm-hmm. with a handle. Mm-hmm. . Um, we’re already seeing. What do you think of his handle?

[00:24:41] Sage: I think it’s pretty

[00:24:42] Dustin: good for a big man. It’s not bad. I, I see. I’m more concerned and I, I texted you this, he’s kind of got that. . I think he’s still growing that, that’s my thing. I think he’s still growing because when I watch him run or kind of dribble and try to explode, I, he almost has, [00:25:00] he’s almost like a baby giraffe out there.

[00:25:02] And it’s, it reminds me a lot of what we’re seeing with Jabari Walker. Like it doesn’t look, look like Jabari Walker has finished a growing either. Like he just kind of runs a little, it’s not like he’s able to fully get that stride or his gait and he’s, he’s still kind of growing into that and. if he’s able to do that, like that’s, that’s where you, you really start to get scary, right?

[00:25:21] If he, if he’s able to become that athlete, because you, you watch shaden on tape, even in the E Y B L against players who will never sniff a D one offer. He just looked effortless out there gliding and it was pure and it was satisfying to watch. And it just, like everything you wanna see from a wing athlete, like it just looked perfect with Jar.

[00:25:43] it’s a little bit more like, there’s a little bit of a hitch. Like can you get a little bit more smoother in that? And I think that will determine especially, uh, defensively too, like on the perimeter. Can he stick with those, those quicker guards if he’s able to, to open up? Uh, I think it might

[00:25:57] Sage: be, he’s takes like [00:26:00] three steps when it’s should be two.

[00:26:02] Like he’s, he, I don’t know if the flexibility is in his legs yet, but I, I think like two. one. I think that his, his dribbling is pretty good for someone that tall, like he does hesitations. He does like a, like he does, he has a bag defensively and may, maybe it’s a spacing, but I feel like if he ha it, it, when he utilizes his bag, there’s not, there’s not that many players that are big and as strong and as fast as Jarris in the league.

[00:26:35] Like I could think of LeBron and Paul and. , there’s not that many people built like him. So if he can, if he can get more flexible with his body and you have the dribbles, that’s pretty, that’s pretty deadly because he, he can get to his spots and get to his shot sometimes. Most of the times it’s the floater, but he gets to his spots where he feels very [00:27:00] comfort, comfortable.

[00:27:01] Second question or second thing I wanna talk about is shooting. or playmaking, the thing that has more star power to

[00:27:13] Dustin: it

[00:27:13] for

[00:27:13] Sage: him. Playmaking? No. Well, for prospects in general,

[00:27:17] Dustin: it’s a team by team basis in my opinion. And play Byplay. But some teams, some teams need a Clay Thompson. Some teams need to dream on, like on the offensive end of the floor.

[00:27:25] So it’s whatever you’re gonna value. I think they’re equally valuable. But what does your team need? I think that’s where you kind of drop down from. Okay. Like I don’t think you can really. Distinguish one quality from the other. Hopefully they have both. Right? That’s what we’re the elite. That’s where you make the superstars.

[00:27:41] Exactly. But then, then you drop down to the team. Need, what, what do I need on my team? Do I need somebody to be a, you know, a server and, and dish out all of the dishes to, to, to the shooters? Or do I need some shooting to open up the floor for, for my guards? So, , that’s for, for Portland. You need another ball handler, another [00:28:00] decision maker, because Lord knows we’ve needed multiples of those for ages.

[00:28:04] Sage: If, if, if his, uh, ball handling and decision making can cut Dame’s usage down, that’s gonna add years on to his life. Because he’s like, he’s handling it like Prime Luca, prime, James Harden Prime, Russell Westbrook. If Jarris being a decision maker and I, I honestly don’t remember the Blazers having a decision making power for it outside of LaMarcus Aldridge.

[00:28:28] If we can find that in Jarris Walker and bring his usage down, then I think Dame does benefit by Jarris Walker’s appearance on this team. I think that once. Is an NBA athlete and doesn’t have to go to school all day and can focus on his body. I think that whoever drafts him ho, hopefully it is Portland can work on that flexibility with his, his, his trunk cause he is strong enough to do whatever.

[00:28:55] But if he has the flexibility, man he could, he could be bam out of [00:29:00] with his switch ability. And there aren’t that many guys that have

[00:29:03] Dustin: that. Alright. You asked earlier, what, what are your, what are your player comps for for Jarris Walker? Um, I

[00:29:12] Sage: mean, I’m, I think he’s gonna be better than this, but I think Beef Stew and him have a lot of similarities, especially body type.

[00:29:20] They’re both fucking horses. Uh, beef Stew has shown that he can guard guards now, and I think Jarris obviously can do that. Jarris has a, like a playmaking. He’s such a better playmaker, which means that he’s such a better player than beast stu. But both of ’em can shoot, both of ’em can play defense. Both of ’em have the same body type.

[00:29:41] So a better passing playmaking beast stew is like the 50 percentile

[00:29:47] Dustin: outcome for me. Yeah, I would agree with that. Isaiah Stewart, once you mentioned that, I couldn’t think of anything, um, more accurate. So I, I’m, I’m gonna go with, with that one as well. What do you think is his middle of the road? Uh, [00:30:00] chances are this is who he is type

[00:30:01] Sage: of.

[00:30:02] I’m going, uh, I, I love him. I’m going Paul Milsap, because I think both of ’em are similar size. Both of them have that dog. . Paul Milsap was the leading rebounder in the ncaa. He has that dog in them. They both have skills and skillsets and, uh, once be being able to utilize their skillsets. I think that right now Jarris is on a team that’s competing for the championship, so he can’t be able to show everything.

[00:30:29] When Paul Milsap went to Atlanta, he was able to show his entire rig. His bag and went to the All-Star game Co cuz of it. So I think the 75th percentile is

[00:30:41] Dustin: Paul Millsap. I said it earlier, but I think you’re looking at Gerald Wallace with leak average shooting. Um, great. After did Crash, have the playmaking.

[00:30:54] He wasn’t really asked to do it in the open court, but when, when you’re just looking at a player in terms of their off ball [00:31:00] prowess, their just want and desire, just all out hustle, th that’s really what comes. To mind. Um, and he was given that corner three a lot and when he hit it, that’s when he was really lethal.

[00:31:14] Um, if he is, if he is a league average, that’s why I said I think he’s drilled Wallace with, with League average, uh, shooting and you could maybe sprinkle in some playmaking there, but I think that’s, that’s a relative expectation. Taking someone potentially top five, um, in the drafting a player who I think Blazer fans would absolutely fall in love.

[00:31:33] Sage: Would he be a fan favorite? I think just cuz of the, the desire and the hustle has to be

[00:31:38] Dustin: people. We love new bass. Talking about Matisse Thk after like two games and going, having one game where he shot four for six from three and, and blocked Malik Beasley shot in a third row Blazer fans are like some of the most loved drunk fans in the entire.

[00:31:51] Nba like one, he gives one good interview and everyone just like, you know, fawning over the, the new guy like Blaze Blazer fans love everyone. I mean, let’s be real, [00:32:00] there’s maybe like one player on the team that kind of gets scapegoated, but everyone else is like, . You know, you, you, my uncle might be a drunk.

[00:32:07] I can say that, but you don’t call my uncle a drunk. Like that’s the type of love the Blazers have with their fans. Like this is our bunch of guys. And do you remember Admiral

[00:32:16] Sage: Scofield saying how much he loved the environment? Love the tap water.

[00:32:20] Dustin: Let’s draft him. Let’s draft him on that alone. Oh, you like mul normal falls?

[00:32:24] Yeah. Fucking, let’s, let’s sign you up. Number one, overall, like that’s . I mean, we, blazer, blazer fans love people who love our, our city and our state. And, uh, so yeah, I, I think he definitely would be. I mean, I can’t think of any reason why he wouldn’t be, but, but what is your absolute ceiling? 99th percentile.

[00:32:46] And to infinity beyond comparison for Juris Walker? You.

[00:32:53] Sage: 99th percentile is Kauai Leonard. 90th is Pascal sicu with

[00:32:57] Dustin: much better pass. Do you really think he could get to Kauai? I, [00:33:00] I, I don’t, I don’t know. Even at,

[00:33:01] Sage: didn’t you say pie in the sky ideals? I,

[00:33:04] Dustin: I suppose, I guess even my biggest pie in the sky. I don’t see Kauai, but that this is your comp.

[00:33:09] So,

[00:33:09] Sage: well, like I, I feel like Pascal SICU with League average shooting and very good passing. To meet.

[00:33:18] Dustin: That’s, that’s pretty good for night and ninth. Yeah.

[00:33:21] Sage: But, uh, I mean, I, I pie in the sky is quiet, but I’m cool with saying pass elham with really good passing. Like, I, I feel like Pascal, when I watch him, he can pass, but he doesn’t have the reads that Jarris Walker has.

[00:33:35] At 19 like that, the ability to pass and play, make for others, that’s fucking sexy as a, as a prospect to me, man. So a big man that can pass. , you know, I got an affinity for that, so I Pascal that’s a good, that’s a good catch and shoot guy that can shoot off the dribble a little bit and play make really, really,

[00:33:58] Dustin: really well.[00:34:00]

[00:34:01] I don’t know if a player exists for his 99th.

[00:34:04] Sage: I know honestly could be dron. It could be a

[00:34:07] Dustin: taller turon. That’s, if I were to say pine the sky, this is who he is. A more aggressive of offensively minded dream on green.

[00:34:19] Sage: That’s. Going for Pascal tore on green shows the versatility

[00:34:24] Dustin: that this young man has.

[00:34:25] Yeah. It’s hard to see because when I think of Juris Walker, it’s mostly defense. What, how can he impact the game and who is he compared to defensively, because that’s what I believe in the most. And if he’s able to become that type of defender where he’s playing off ball and on ball, he’s switching, he’s playing middle of the floor, he’s blitzing, you’re able to basically utilize him like a Swiss Army knife like that.

[00:34:46] That to me, worthy of a 99th percentile comparison. But then you throw in the playmaking and that’s where Draymond really excels. Mm-hmm. . And even, even earlier in his career, 20 15, 20 16 Draymond, he was the league average from [00:35:00] three mm-hmm. . He, he didn’t used to be so terrible and so hesitant shooting the basketball.

[00:35:04] So maybe 2015 Draymond Green would, would be my comparison because I still don’t know if Juris is ever going to be that Kawaii type of player offensive. . Mm-hmm. . Uh, but if he’s league average from three and become an elite playmaker, that’s where I start to see Pine, the sky comparisons from, uh, Mr. Green

[00:35:24] Sage: that, I mean, you know, it’s crazy cuz I can see him being dream on green.

[00:35:29] I can see, I just poke my phone really hard. I can see him being Pascal Calk. I can see him being Paul Millsap. I could see him being crashed. That shit, like when we talk about our 90th percentile, our 99th percentile, it’s. You know, there’s a chance he hits it. But I can see him doing that. I can see him making decisions in the playoffs for a very good playoff team, and he’s in that missing piece that’s cleaning shit up and making good plays [00:36:00] like that’s Blazer.

[00:36:01] Fans have wanted what Jarris Walker provides for decades, man, decades. Like a Playmaking center that plays defense and is a decision maker and can. . That’s, that’s what, that’s like everything that’s listed he provides at 19. Yeah. I mean, he excites me, like the potential jarris Walker on this team excites me.

[00:36:28] Before we got Shaden, before we got potentially get Jarris, there’s like a 1% chance we win the chip, but if we, if Shane hits what he hits, Jarius, hits what he hits, that potential is so much higher because of the height and that excites me. Watching this team with the defensive liabilities that we have, I do it.

[00:36:48] I love doing it, but there’s

[00:36:50] Dustin: a reason no team outside of the oh one Lakers who kind of lolly gagged through the season has ever been out of I the, the top 10 in defensive, [00:37:00] uh, defensive rating. No, you have to be top 10 defense, bare minimum, unless you have maybe two of the most generational talents of, of all time on, on your roster, right?

[00:37:10] Mm-hmm. . And then, then, then they turned it on in the playoffs and went 15, 16 and one. Uh, so, and I don’t know if Portland’s ever gonna get Prime Shack or Prime Kobe on, on the same team, maybe, unless they get Wendy and then Shane just turns into Kobe. But that’s for another day. That’s

[00:37:25] Sage: for a very, very happy podcast from the

[00:37:27] Dustin: both.

[00:37:27] So, um, you, you have to play defense. Defense matters. Absolutely. And you can’t just get these players, no offense to like Matis Stba, where they’re a liability on the offensive end of the floor. You have to get players that can go offensively and defensively and hold their own, and then some. That’s how you win.

[00:37:45] You look at the teams that are gonna be competing for championships, Boston, Milwaukee, uh, Philly, the, the Clippers. Uh, Maybe even Phoenix. Like they have players that play offense, but they also play defense and they can, they have size, they have [00:38:00] length, they have athleticism. You have to start putting it together.

[00:38:04] You know when, when people see, you have to have players that can defend that.

[00:38:07] Sage: Yeah. Like do you, do you see him guarding threes, fours, and fives, and then if he gets switched on a two, he won’t get destroyed.

[00:38:17] Dustin: I mean, if he’s 99 percentile, he should be able to guard everyone. , . That’s, I mean, that’s it. I mean, but otherwise

[00:38:24] Sage: he’s still, I think your kitchen IBI will give him trouble, but they give everybody trouble.

[00:38:29] So, yeah. I mean, but I think he’ll put the effort in to make it as hard as possible on those centers too.

[00:38:35] Dustin: I mean, bam holds his own against one through five. If he, if he, if he can do that, like yeah, you’re gonna excel against players of, of your size, but if you can at least make it a little bit difficult for, for those guards and you can switch and blitz and.

[00:38:48] If, if you’re on an island, you can, you know, put, put some clamps down once in a while or even just make the shot difficult. That’s really all you, uh, can ask for. But again, you’re drafting a player really based on their [00:39:00] defense in the top five. The answer to that question has to be a resounding yes. Like you have to know in your heart.

[00:39:06] This player two to three years from now, is going to be able to guard one through. , then you go all in and you, and you use that massive asset to draft this player because you’re putting almost a decade worth of investment into this. Pick you, you absolutely cannot miss on high draft picks. Look at the Washington Wizards.

[00:39:26] Yep. We talked about this. Den, abia, rui ha, chamara, uh uh. Who did Corey kisser like they’ve just wasted draft pick after draft. Pick after draft. Pick Johnny Davis. Unfortunately. I, he’s struggling, but I’m willing to give him a little bit of time. Um, but yeah, there were other players that maybe could have helped them a little bit better or, or who were progressing a little bit, uh, more at, at the moment.

[00:39:50] But when you don’t draft, you can’t build. And when you can’t build, you can’t win. And when you can’t win, you stay in the same spot.

[00:39:58] Sage: So in your [00:40:00] trading, your first round pick or your first rounder from four years ago for Kendrick Nun

[00:40:05] Dustin: in second round picks. All right, Sage, uh, I gotta get back to the baby.

[00:40:11] It was absolutely,

[00:40:12] Sage: man. Absolutely. Great episode, bro. I was wonderful. I’m very happy to be doing this

[00:40:15] Dustin: again, and we will be back again. I don’t know if the cadence will be as frequent as it was, uh, last year, pre-new newborn, but we will do our best. Mm-hmm. , um, very excited, uh, to watch the remaining of the season wind down.

[00:40:27] Watch those young guns, get all those. Um, and start to look at some other prospects who would exceed and thrive alongside, uh, Portland’s young corp. Uh, Sage, let our listeners know where they can find us, and, uh, we will be back, uh, after this next week of games, uh, probably Sunday or Monday. And, uh, Go Blazers.

[00:40:47] Sage: Absolutely. We are available on iTunes, Stitcher, Himalaya podcast everywhere where you get your podcast. We’re there. Leave us a nice review five start sub to us and we will be back doing more blazers and [00:41:00] draft content soon. So peace out everyone.

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