7. Cason Wallace, Kentucky
Watch Cason Wallace for 30 seconds and you see four-time All-NBA defender Jrue Holiday, whose arrival with the Milwaukee Bucks coincided with a championship.
Wallace is a 6-4 guard with a 6-8 wingspan who plays stronger than he looks. More than anything, though, it’s clear he loves taking the assignment of guarding the opposition’s best scorer. He’s tough, long, determined, and smart.
Those skills also lend themselves to great off-ball defense; think Matisse Thybulle’s closeout block in the corner during his first game in Portland, except more of it.
Much like Holiday, he’s also an above-average spot-up shooter and a floor general who makes smart reads, smart passes, and doesn’t turn the ball over much.
Wallace showed his total package in Kentucky’s loss to Kansas State in the Round of 32 in this year’s NCAA Tournament, nearly dragging the Wildcats to a win with his all-around game. He finished with 21 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 steals while going 9-of-11 from the floor.