John Wall: NBA Draft Profile and Scouting Report
John Wall, Kentucky -- 2010 NBA Draft Profile
Position: Point Guard | Height: 6-foot-4 | Weight 195 lbs
Class: Freshman | Age: 19 | Hometown: Raleigh, NC
2009 Stats: 16.6 points | 6.5 assists | 4.3 rebounds | 1.8 steals | Game Log
NBA Mock Draft Ranking: 1
John Wall on Twitter: @jimmywa11 | John Wall Video Highlights: YouTube
John Wall Scouting Report
Strengths: John Calipari's spread offense is a fine teaching tool for the one-on-one based nature of the NBA game. Wall is a scintillating talent whose ability to get in the lane and either finish or pass is dazzling. His flair for the dramatic and willingness to take big shots will help him blend in immediately.
The most impressive thing about Wall is the sheer speed in which he races up and down the floor, darting through the lane yet staying eerily under control. He's like a finely tuned sports car shifting gears on a dime and changing speeds with ease. He is a tremendous finisher in transition and in the half-court, with his impresive body control and exposive leaping ability off of two feet. Once he gets a step he understands how to angle his body towards the rim and create a direct line towards the basket. Wall has excellent body control, consistently showing the ability to jump off the wrong foot, hang in the air and still finish with contact. He's a tremendous playmaker who can make others better with his passing (6.5 assists) and overall attention he draws with his drives.
Weaknesses: My biggest knock on Wall is his jump shot, which he's had middling results with at best. His mid-range game is good, but his outside game is awful. Granted he loves to attack the rim and can usually get there, but he will need to increase the range and consistency on his stroke as a pro. Mechanically it's decent -- he has a nice release and his elbows are tucked -- but whether it's spotting up or coming off screens, his jumper outside of the elbow is very suspect. It almost hitches at its very peak before releasing, which didn't plague him in college because he was so superior athletically, but will hurt him at the NBA level.
The other problem with Wall is an overall sense of discomfort off the ball. He has the tendency to stand around and wait to catch so he can isolate, instead of cutting and using his quick feet to his advantage. In many ways, last year's Kentucky team with at least three other likely pros very much resembles an NBA team in that everyone on the floor can score. Wall is such a dynamic weapon with the ball in his hands, but in the pro game where two-guards often handle it as well, Wall must learn how to operate and be a threat even when he's not running the point.
Everyone talks about what an amazing point guard Wall is, but I'm not sold on that being his NBA position. He is really just a pure scorer with great scoring instincts and a nose for the rim.
The counter to that is whether having a true pass-first point guard is necessary to win in today's NBA game. Just look at the top flight points at the pro level today: Steve Nash, Deron Williams, Chris Paul, Rajon Rondo and Chauncey Billups. Every single one of these guys can and do score while also facilitating for others, and every one has had playoff success.
Forecast: Without question, Wall the ability to become an elite NBA point guard, even if he is turnover prone (four per game) and perhaps more of a scorer than a passer. If you can take away his speed game and dribble-drive (which will happen more often in the NBA), Wall is just another athlete. Because he can't consistently shoot from the outside, he will struggle in half-court sets when defenses pack it in. Perhaps he can learn from another former UK guard in Rajon Rondo, who faced many of the same obstacles Wall will face -- namely, defenses playing off him and daring him to shoot. The difference is that Rondo came into his own playing with three future Hall of Famers, whereas Wall will be headed to a lottery team.
But similar to former No.1 pick and another Calipari disciple, Derrick Rose, Wall is so physically dominant and naturally gifted that you have to believe he will excel in any system. Wall actually has better numbers than Rose did at Memphis. While points and rebounds are the same, Wall's 6.5 assists were nearly two more per game than Rose's 4.7 in 2007-08.
The bottom line is that Wall will have a very successful career in a starring role. Is he really a point guard? Time will tell, but it may not even matter.
John Wall Articles:
5/14: Shoals: Your Handy Guide for Coping With NBA Free Agency
5/12: Ziller: Mirror, Mirror: John/Berlin Wall
5/3: Report: John Wall Selects Dan Fegan as Agent
4/13: John Wall Takes to Twitter
4/13: Travis: Proposing the Kentucky Rule: Bench Age Floor, Make Frosh Ineligible
4/7: Kentucky Lose 5 to NBA Draft
3/26: Olson: Cornell Hits Wall, Cousins and Kentucky
3/25: NCAA Eye for the NBA Guy
More John Wall Scouting Reports: DraftExpress | NBADraft.net