5 2023 NBA Draft prospects Portland should target with Knicks pick

Dereck Lively II, Duke Blue Devils - Mandatory Credit: Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports
Dereck Lively II, Duke Blue Devils - Mandatory Credit: Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports /
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Jordan Walsh, Arkansas Razorbacks
Jordan Walsh, Arkansas Razorbacks – Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports /

Knicks Pick Candidate #3: Jordan Walsh, Arkansas

Besides an eventual replacement for Nurkic in the middle, the Blazers are also in search of a cornerstone forward  they can build around for the future. The team acquired players like Reddish and Matisse Thybulle to help contend now, but outside of them and Grant, only Trendon Watford stands as a playable forward or wing for the team.

What would benefit Portland the most with the Knicks pick would be selecting a player who can be a true stopper on the wing. While Thybulle was meant to be that player, his lack of shooting is too solidified at this age to believe he can become a league-average sniper at any point in his career.

While it may seem paradoxical, selecting a similar player to Thybulle, such as Walsh, makes sense, especially because Walsh has slightly better physical tools and is much younger and more malleable than Thybulle.

Walsh was part of Arkansas’ sterling recruiting class that ultimately helped them get to the Sweet 16 this March. He wasn’t an offensive weapon, but he earned minutes with his outrageous length, great foot speed, and his ability to influence games with his dynamite perimeter defense:

It’ll take some time for Walsh to improve enough on offense to be a legitimate threat when he’s on the floor, but he’s a great low-risk, high-reward player due to his upside. With the right development and seasoning, Walsh could soon go from theoretically good to actually good on  both ends on the wing.