2024 NBA Lottery Mock Draft: Blazers swing for upside, Spurs stockpile guards

The Portland Trail Blazers swing for upside in this 2024 NBA lottery mock draft.
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14. Portland Trail Blazers (via Golden State) select Ja’Kobe Walter

After taking a high-upside flyer on Ron Holland at pick No. 7, the Blazers take another relative gamble on Baylor guard Ja’Kobe Walter. Walter possesses a high two-way upside and is considered one of the best shooters in the draft. As a Freshman, Walter averaged 14.5 points, 4.4 rebounds, 1.4 assists, and 1.1 steals on 38/34/79 shooting splits. He needs to improve his field goal efficiency and become a better playmaker, but he has room to grow in those areas as he is only 19 years old. 

As is, Walter still would fill a massive need for Portland with his 3-and-D skill set. He projects to be a pesky on-ball defender with his frame, agility, and quick hands. Offensively, Walter would give the Blazers’ offense a huge boost with his shooting alone.

While he’s not a great shot creator yet, that wouldn’t be his role with Portland. Walter would complement Scoot Henderson, Shaedon Sharpe, and, in this case, Ron Holland well with his floor spacing, opening up lanes for them to make plays. On catch-and-shoots, which would be his role with the Blazers, Walter shot 44.8 from three (42.1 percent on off-ball screens). He would be a seamless fit for the Blazers' young core, which desperately needs more shooting.