How Jarace Walker and the Spurs can push the boundaries of positionless basketball
Jarace Walker's areas for improvement
I'm uncomfortable labeling Walker a poor shooter at this stage in his development, particularly considering how efficiently he scored on all three levels in early February. However, there is still quite a bit of room for improvement. Mechanically, Walker tends to lean back and to his left on jump shots and has a slow release, leading to some inconsistencies when defenders force him to rush shots. Furthermore, Walker has only made roughly 64% of his free throws on the season.
Thankfully, Walker's shot is far from being broken. He isn't a lost cause and appears to have unwavering confidence shooting the ball. When taking his touch around the rim and in the midrange into account, there's plenty of reason to be optimistic about the long-term development of Walker's jumper.
The question surrounding Jarace Walker's ballhandling ability is much less of a "can he do it" question and more of a "will he do it" question. He generally strikes me as a player with a clear-cut purpose whenever he puts the ball on the floor, whether he intends to drive to the rim on closeouts or post up smaller defenders. I don't think this is necessarily a bad thing. I also won't necessarily be counting on him to put the ball on the floor for extended periods or patiently navigate the pick-and-roll as the ballhandler from day one.
However, there are also reasons to be optimistic in this area of his game. He appeared more willing and comfortable putting the ball on the floor during his time with IMG Academy, leading me to believe he might not fully have the green light to do that frequently in Houston. And when he does put it on the floor, he keeps a low dribble and has a distinct "wiggle" to his game that may be more noticeable if he's given more freedom at the next level.