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.