The OKC Thunder go back to the Arkansas pipeline to grab Jordan Walsh.
The Arkansas Razorbacks have been kind to the Oklahoma City Thunder, producing the likes of Isaiah Joe and Jaylin Williams, two standouts in Mark Daigneault’s rotation last year. While the Razorbacks have not gotten over the same hump the Wildcats did, I compare Arkansas to Villanova in the way they develop players to have pro-ready habits coming out of school.
Jordan Walsh stole the show at the NBA Combine, measuring 6’5 without shoes, 204 pounds, and a 7’1 wingspan. During the scrimmages, Walsh produced 15 points, seven rebounds, five assists, and two steals.
At Arkansas, Walsh averaged seven points, four rebounds, 1.6 STOCKS per game, and an assist per game while shooting 43 percent from the floor, 27 percent from beyond the arc, and 71 percent at the free throw line.
Jordan Walsh plays with great offensive force, which allowed him to be successful as a rebounder, including on put-backs. Walsh has an impressive driving ability to finish through trees on the cramped college floor. The concerning shot for Walsh was his jumper. The Arkansas product only knocked down catch-and-shoot chances at a 25 percent clip. I think there is more playmaking to Walsh’s game than what he could show at Arkansas. The good news regarding his jump shot is that he nailed the three-point drills at the NBA Draft Combine and hit that 70 percent free throw mark that NBA teams look for to project shooting touch.
The area where Jordan Walsh thrives comes on the defensive side of the floor; he is excellent at closing out on jump shooters, fighting over screens, and even ranked in the 73rd percentile as an isolation defender last season. This makes him an interesting option at pick 37. The Thunder are familiar with the Razorback program, and they also made the trip to Arkansas University to watch Walsh and company in practice throughout the season.