2018 NBA Mock Draft: Time for the Final Four

BOSTON, MA - MARCH 23: Mikal Bridges
BOSTON, MA - MARCH 23: Mikal Bridges /
8 of 30
DALLAS, TX – MARCH 15: Lonnie Walker IV
DALLAS, TX – MARCH 15: Lonnie Walker IV /

Lonnie Walker IV. 23. player. 86. . G. Miami

Walker’s fall here is a matter of questioning his ability to fit on an efficient an successful team. He is a physically imposing talent, long enough to defend wings with the ball skills and shooting ability to potentially be a lead play-maker on offense. However, his shot selection and defensive questions make it difficult to peg his value.

Only 20 percent of Walker’s 2-point shots were assisted, according to Hoop-Math, supporting the idea that he took the Hurricanes’ offense hostage too often during his freshman season. Potentially assisted 2-point attempts tend to be more open and occur near the rim more often than isolation, un-assisted shots. Walker needs to be a better finisher and passer to support that sort of offensive style.

Basically, he’s a perfect lead ball-handler for a Tom Thibodeau offense. NBA.com data shows Minnesota using 8.8 percent of its offensive possessions in isolation, fifth most in the league. They were actually much lower than that in 2016-17, but Thibodeau found personnel that fit that style over the summer and has ridden Jimmy Butler, Jeff Teague and Jamal Crawford to a more individualized offense.

Walker would be a cheaper option there with the upside to grow defensively, as Minnesota’s roster gets incredibly expensive over the next two summers.