Raptors Mock Draft: Grading 3 expert draft selections for Toronto

The Toronto Raptors have a plethora of options in the 2024 NBA Draft. How do these three prospects mocked to them by various outlets grade out?
Ja'Kobe Walter, Baylor Bears
Ja'Kobe Walter, Baylor Bears / Justin Ford/GettyImages
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No. 3: Kevin O'Connor mocks Ja'Kobe Walter to the Raptors

The Baylor Bears have not one, but two first-round worthy prospects they are sending to this year's NBA Draft. Yves Missi is a raw center prospect, while Ja'Kobe Walter was a top prospect heading into his freshman season who has seen his value slip from a onetime Top 10 pick to someone likely to go in the 12-20 range of the first round, which is where Kevin O'Connor of The Ringer places him in mocking him 19th to Toronto in his latest mock draft.

Walter is a 6'4" combo guard with an impressively long 6'10" wingspan, a player with physical similarities to Dwyane Wade and a game that looks like Khris Middleton or Devin Booker. Those are obviously high-end names; he could easily be a Moses Moody type as well, but what that comparison illustrates is that the floor and ceiling look high for Walter.

Despite an inconsistent season shooting the basketball as a freshman, Walter has a smooth, repeatable shooting motion and should be a plus shooter at the next level. He is not a quick-trigger catch-and-shoot player yet, instead preferring to catch and purvey the situation; he will need to develop in that area, but most young players do.

The rest of what he brings to the table is tantalizing. His wingspan helps him to be a dynamic defensive playmaker, blocking shots as a guard and generating steals and deflections. He can create his own shot and is a developing passer, and his athleticism and motor help him gather rebounds in traffic on both ends of the court. Sprinkle in his competitive spirit and how well-liked he seems to be by his teammates, and it's difficult to understand why he is slipping down draft boards.

That could be an opportunity for Toronto to add a lottery talent despite not picking until 19. Ja'Kobe Walter easily projects as the long-term backcourt partner alongside Immanuel Quickley with his shooting, defense and secondary creation, and worst-case he is a do-it-all smooth-shooting Sixth Man who closes plenty of games.

Grade: A

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