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NBA Draft: Blazers Take Jarace Walker as Jerami Grant Backup Plan?

Jarace Walker is expected to be one of the top picks in this year’s NBA Draft.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament Midwest Regional-Miami (FL) vs Houston Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

The Portland Trail Blazers face an uncertain future at the power forward position.

With Jerami Grant entering free agency this summer, it’s anyone’s guess as to who may start at the four next season. While the Blazers hope Grant can stay in Portland, the team has to look at backup plans in free agency and the draft.

Draft Digest publisher Derek Parker believes Houston’s Jarace Walker could be the Blazers’ pick should Portland keep its selection.

Perhaps the best defender in the class at this moment in time, Walker would immediately slot into Portland’s four spot.

He offers versatile defense, physicality and even some passing and playmaking chops that would go a long ways next to Lillard, Simons and more.

As a scorer, he might not pop off the bat, but he has a strong enough post game and a face-up, live-dribble game that’s yet to be completely unlocked, making him a tantalizing pick here.

There is potential for Walker and Grant to coexist. It’s possible that the Blazers could move Grant to the three, play Walker at the four and incorporate a bigger lineup than the team had this season.

That being said, the Blazers may want to make room for Shaedon Sharpe to step into a full-time starting role for his second season after all the growth he showed this past season.

It’s tricky adding another rookie to a roster looking to win next season. However, the Blazers need to be smart about any buy-now move they make. They shouldn’t break the bank to make a move that’s not going to give them full dividends down the line. And if they don’t receive an offer worthy of their top pick, taking a rookie like Walker is what would be best for the overall health of the organization moving forward.