Is Jabari Walker the biggest steal of the draft? For The Win believes so

Every Colorado Buffaloes fan (and basketball pundits, in general) was stunned when Jabari Walker nearly went undrafted in the 2022 NBA Draft. He was one of the last selections of the evening with the Portland Trail Blazers nabbing him at No. 57 overall to end his surprising slide.

Walker had consistently been a mid-second round choice in mock drafts leading up to draft night, but nobody expected him to be the second to last player taken.

His Las Vegas Summer League debut was a strong one, and Walker then followed that up with a 16-point, 13-rebound double-double on Monday night against the New York Knicks.

Well, Walker could very well be the steal of the draft thus far, and Bryan Kalbrosky of For The Win said exactly that after Walker’s performance on Monday. His stats back it up so far as well.


Although these stats are a bit flawed, for context: Walker leads all drafted players in Win Shares (0.7) and PER (33.0) and he trails only first-round pick Tari Eason in FIC (40.1) thus far. It is hard to make a sweeping claim about raw plus-minus in an exhibition game, but in Las Vegas, the Blazers tend to perform better when Walker is on the floor relative to when he is not.

Sure, it’s still very early, but Walker has come out of the gates firing on all cylinders. As Kalbrosky says, the Blazers are better with Walker on the court.

Blazers head coach and fellow Buffs alum Chauncey Billups might have a hard time leaving Walker on the bench or in the G League, especially if he keeps up this performance.

So far, so good for Jabari Walker. Then again, we aren’t surprised.

Contact/Follow us @BuffaloesWire on Twitter, and like our page on Facebook to follow ongoing coverage of Colorado news, notes and opinions.

Let us know your thoughts, comment on this story below. Join the conversation today.


Six former Buffs playing in the NBA Summer League

Story originally appeared on Buffaloes Wire