Well, because it is John Wall, of course! In all seriousness though, when we did this series of posts, I was surprised to see all this Evan Turner love while everyone seems to be dismissing John Wall. I mean, it is close, but John Wall is the better player than Evan Turner, and if the Nets get the first pick, they need to draft John Wall, no questions asked. A lot of you seemed to be worried because he is a one and done player, and some of you are worried because he is coming out of a coach Calipari system. I am going to list two guys who were both, Derrick Rose and Tyreke Evans and they both are turning out pretty well (Evans was the Rookie-Sophmore MVP while Rose just made his first All-Star game), and just about everyone who has seen John Wall live says that he is better than both of those guys were in school. Plus drafting John Wall makes Devin Harris available to trade (not saying I want this), and that is another asset to work with. Not to mention that he is good friends with LeBron and that everyone in the NBA seems to identify Wall as the best college player. You can scoff at this, but I think drafting John Wall gives the Nets a better chance at a big name free agent than what we could get from drafting Evan Turner.
We already know the best case scenario, a better version of Derrick Rose and Tyreke Evans. Say what you will about coach Calipari (and it probably is true), but he can churn out point guards. There is a reason he is recruiting these guys, they are very good, and their games work in his up and down system. Draft Express lists Wall’s worst case scenario as a 6’4″ Kyle Lowry. That is a pretty good player, but not 1 you want to take with the #1 pick.
A Pure Point Guard
The thing that I like about Wall is that he has the ability to be a pure point guard. The biggest knock on Devin is that he doesn’t make his teammates better (I tend to disagree), but John Wall can play that pure point guard. He doesn’t need to score 20 points a game to be effective. I like to think of him as a smarter Baron Davis. Davis is a crazy talented point guard, but he doesn’t really have the right mentality and he tries to score way too much. Wall has that same ability (in my opinion), but he is smart enough to know when to involve his teammates and when to go ahead and try to take over.
Maybe the biggest knock on the Nets is that there is no real vocal leader. I mean CDR likes to call out his teammates, but it is more of a complaining than trying to become a leader. Devin Harris leads by example, but we have seen that he isn’t comfortable being the guy who leads with words. John Wall can be that guy. He has a lot of good leadership characteristics, the most important being that he seems to lift his play in the clutch. There have been a few times when Kentucky has looked lost out there, and they have been in close games late. All of a sudden, John Wall goes nuts, and just starts draining buckets. Even in the game that they lost, he brought his team back a couple times (1 time he started a 6-0 run on his own I believe), and kept the game close.
Wall struggles a little bit from the three point line. I like to compare him to Devin Harris from three. He can make them every once in a while (36.9% shooter from three), but he shoots way too many 3s to be efficient. Also Wall seems to struggle shooting from the outside off the dribble a bit too. I see Wall’s rookie season being similar to Derrick Rose’s rookie season in that he is going to be attacking the basket a ton, to the point where teams will start giving him jumpers. Whether or not he makes those will be key for him next year.