John Wall draft profile


John Wall (Kentucky)
6'4, PG, 195 lbs.

Wall's sensational speed and court awareness made him the number one freshman coming into college this season and one of the top recruits of the decade.  He has the goods to be a great one at the next level.

Speed is the name of the game in the NBA and Wall is most effective in getting out in transition and using his blazing speed to get to the rack or set up a teammate for a dunk / open jumper.  Wall has great creation ability and is an unselfish player.  He uses his great first step to set up other teammates first.  If the teammates are guarded, Wall will drive and finish using his great vertical and an array of floaters, dunks and moves at the basket or pull-up for a mid-range jumper.   Also worth noting, he is able to go with either hand in setting himself up.

What should give NBA defender fits, is his ability to use the pick-and-roll at the next level if his transition game is taken away.  With great court awareness, he's deadly on the pick and roll whether he drives, dishes to an open shooter, or hits a cutting big man.

Right now, Wall has three glaring holes offensively.  First, he lacks a consistent outside jump shot.  While he has a solid mid-range jumper, he showed a very set shot like three pointer with only 32% efficiency at the college level.  While not atrocious, it will take time to develop a consistent three point shot at the next level.  Also, Wall showed to be extremely careless with the ball at times and would commit turnovers in spurts on occasion.  However, some of that is expected with an aggressive freshman.  Last, he did struggle at times against more physical point guards in getting his shot off regularly.  He shows the ability to add weight to his frame without losing speed though.

At 6'4, with great court vision, amazing creativity, and blazing speed, Wall should become a star at the next level.  One other factor worth noting was that he did show a clutch factor in making many tough shots down the stretch during many close games.

Defensively, Wall should be a great defender at the next level in a couple of years.  At times, Wall uses his great lateral quickness to stay in front of guards and picks their pockets if they are careless with the ball.  However, he sometimes struggles with opposing physical point guards lacking the strength to deal with them.  Wall also lacked concentration at times allowing players to beat him.  However, both are things that are easily correctable and with his physical tools he should become a phenomenal defender over time.

How does his game translate to the NBA?

Right now, he should play at a near All-Star level right out of the gates.  He will be given the reins to run the Wizards and will do well at the next level because of his speed and unselfishness.  I expect there to be a learning curve, but also flashes of greatness.

I would say his game compares to Russell Westbrook more than Derrick Rose due to the size and skinny, but wiry builds.  However, he has much better passing vision, which is scary.  I don't know if Wall and Rose are as similar as Rose is more of a natural scorer with great body strength.  Rose also tends to play within himself and plays it safe at times when passing the ball.  Wall is more aggressive and has better passing ability, but will not likely ever be as gifted strength wise.  However, Wall should be a great one for a long time.


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  • I know the kid is good, and projects well, but nobody is as sure a thing as you make him out to be.

  • No, he's definitely a sure thing...just like Rose was. The only thing that can stop this kid is injury. He's a phenom.

  • In reply to mdot1986:

    Rose wasn't a sure thing, either. It's really easy to say that in retrospect.

    I'm not saying the kid has even as little as a 50-50 shot at making it, he's way up there. But no, he's not a sure thing. You just don't know how he's going to react to the NBA, making all that money, and having access to the things he'll suddenly have access to.

  • In reply to msalivar:

    People weren't saying it in retrospect...just about everyone said Rose would be a future HOFer! Some people just have that it factor. People said the same thing about Lebron out of high school. Now we are saying it about John Wall. The kid also seems to have a humble/teachable personality. John Wall will be rookie of the year unless he has a season ending injury.

  • In reply to mdot1986:

    Sorry, but no. I'm not saying Wall is a bust, but there are too many factors to track them all. There is no such thing as a sure thing.

  • In reply to msalivar:

    Msalivar is right. There really is no such thing as a sure thing, even with John Wall. I think msalivar would agree though that he's a fantastic prospect.

  • In reply to WearShades:

    Maybe there's no sure thing. I'm just saying it's like a 98% possibility this kid will be a perenial all-star.

  • In reply to mdot1986:

    Even that I wouldn't agree with. There really are some huge factors that you just don't know. I'd give it an 85%, which I think is extremely high for a prospect.

  • In reply to WearShades:

    And for me, that 85% is to be successful in the league, maybe even a starter if I'm being nice. To be a star, I'm dropping that down a good bit.

  • In reply to msalivar:

    That's a bit more cynical than me, but I get where you're coming from. Enough of these "sure things" don't work out that you simply have to rethink the whole "sure thing" idea all together.

  • In reply to WearShades:

    What can I say? I'm slavic, cynicism runs through my veins like ice.

  • In reply to WearShades:

    I'm not saying he will better than rose...I just think he has similar abilities and the potential to be just as good. There is always the unknown but I'm telling you, just like Derrick Rose, John Wall has that it factor. They will both be future HOFers imo.

  • In reply to WearShades:

    Ill tell ya what....he aint no D Rose. He will be a great player imo...but not elite. Im thinking a Devin Harris type player...probably a little better. Probably capable to make a couple all star games but i still dont think he is going to be the best of the best at the PG spot.

  • In reply to Csharp:

    Time will tell. He sounds like a humble and dedicated kid if you listen to his interviews. He has the work ethic to get even better.

  • In reply to mdot1986:

    How can you guys say he will be better than Rose out of the gates?? Need I remind you Rose won ROY then followed up in his second year by making the All Star team.. I'm pretty sure it's safe to say he's had a pretty successful NBA career to date!

    Don't get me wrong, I'm sure Wall will be a beast, but it's hard for me to say he'll translate easily into the NBA?? Only time will tell.. And as for Rose's passing, if he had better finishers I'm sure his assists would be up too..

    The only hing I agree on is his inability to get to the FT line and need for improvement on the defensive end.

    That is all..

  • In reply to rustumt:

    I'm comparing them based strictly on production and approach during their freshman years. In Rose's one college season (and his rookie season) he deferred a lot. He always could score at will. He was (and is) unstoppable when he wants to be. Be he was so unselfish that he was perfectly content to let other guys dominate the ball, thus limiting his scoring and assists, until the team got in trouble.

    Wall, on the other hand, was more aggressive and more assertive from jump. He sought out the limelight while Rose tended to shy away from it. I'm not saying I think Wall will be better over the long haul but I do think he'll come out of the gate more aggressively than Rose did. That's why I limited my comparisons only to their first couple of seasons.

    From there, who knows? Rose can be a top ten player if he improves at the same rate he's improved between his first couple of seasons. I can't project the same of Wall until I see him in the pros.

  • In reply to magestew:

    Fair call..

  • In reply to WearShades:

    Wall seems to be more of a natural passer than Rose. Rose seems to be more of a natural scorer who took a little time to recognize and accept that role. Rose now reminds me of a bigger, stronger, better passing version of Tony Parker. Things like elite athleticism and floor vision tend to carry over very well from college to the NBA. I'm always wary of big-time college scorers, though. Most of them get exposed in the pros unless they have some overwhelming physical trait that carries over, like Shaq's size and strength and Durant's height.

    Usually, the top scorers that actually played college ball didn't score as much in college but were efficient. Wall kind of falls into that category (as did Rose). I think Wall will be a stud right out of the gate. The passing will be there but his assists totals will depend on the quality of his teammates. I think it's safe to say that in his first couple of seasons, Wall will be comparable to - if not better than - Rose has been in his first couple of seasons. But if Rose truly embraces the role of scorer, he could be a bigger, stronger, much more unselfish version of Allen Iverson and start shouldering his way into the top 10 players in the league.

  • In reply to magestew:

    Very well put.

  • In reply to mdot1986:

    I agree with the closing comments on Rose. If he truly embraces the scoring star ability he has(and what player with this capability can afford not to?), he could be a top ten player. Especially if he gets some star help to up the team's winning/ranking/respect with the refs.

    But two things will have to happen. 1) Stud scorers get their 24-25 ppg and up average by getting six, seven or more free throw attempts per game. Hopefully Thibodeau and his assistants(Cheeks?) can get Derrick creating more contact. He needs to watch film of Deron Williams. I don't know what his FTA's per game are, but when he wants to get to the line it's a done deal. Funny that Iverson was referenced as he was a 10 FTA's per game guy for nearly a decade. Shows how important this quality is in a scorer, especially penetrating guards. D-Rose watch all the Iverson film you can get your hands on(as for creating contact only). 2) Defensively lat quicks and in the team framework Derrick needs big time improvement. Hopefully that's where Thibs comes in.

  • In reply to MarkNorman:

    The thing that worries me, if Rose starts creating more contact, is the wear on his body. Just look at Wade and how many injury problems he's had. Iverson is wiry and can take it, Wade's collisions are bigger, and more impactful on his body. I'm afraid Rose, with his body type, would be a lot closer to Wade than Iverson.

  • In reply to msalivar:

    I'm sure the respect from the refs will come as his status in the league continues to grow. But yeah, the potential for injury from too much contact worries me, too. The 2 clashes with Dwight Howard almost made me s**t my britches.

    Hopefully, as RoadWarrior said, he'll study Iverson to learn how to create contact more effectively. But he could also study Wade from this season and last, when Wade did a much better job than in previous years of creating contact while being under control and minimizing the hard falls.

  • In reply to msalivar: post wasnt meant for you just in case you thought it did lol

    But ya, time will tell...i just dont think he will be Elite. I know he will be pretty darn good but who knows. We will see.

  • In reply to magestew:

    Rose is better offensively, plays within himself, and is a great teammate that will make others better; especially with his humble personality.

    Wall is not as good of a scorer, but is still really good with better court vision and is more vocal.

    Both will be stars in my opinion, but I don't think I will be able to say one is better than the other.

  • In reply to mdot1986:

    Scary but true...he's not as athletically gifted as rose but he's close. Plus I think he may have a slightly higher bball IQ and better D. But this is only year 3 for Rose he has a long time to develop that. Mo Cheeks would definitely speed up his learning process.

  • You have to watch him play
    its scary to say it but he could very well be better than rose

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