Everyone (well, at least the crap teams) is talking about Kentucky point guard John Wall.
Wall is an explosive playmaker scouts are calling the best prospect at that position since Chris Paul. And yes, that means he ranks above Derrick Rose and Rajon Rondo. At 6'4" and 195 pounds, Wall is bigger than all three of them.
In 18 games for Kentucky as a freshman, Wall is averaging 17 points, 6.9 assists, 3.7 rebounds, and 2.1 steals. He is shooting almost 50 percent from the field, almost 36 percent from three-point range, and 80 percent from the line.
He is a little erratic at times and still too turnover-prone (3.9 per game), but that's why he's considered a future superstar. The potential is undoubtedly there, and most believe he'll get there.
Imagine if the current Indiana Pacers team had someone who was a combination of Derrick Rose and Rajon Rondo. Seriously. Close your eyes and think about it.
That could become a reality if the Pacers manage to strike gold and win the John Wall sweepstakes.
Ponder a world where John Wall is running the point in Indiana, a team with:
- Danny Granger still scoring like an All-Star, except he doesn't have to force his shot as much because he is getting well-timed passes.
- An improved Roy Hibbert (since he has another year under his belt) flanking the middle, throwing down sky hooks, blocking shots, and not fouling every five minutes.
- A re-awakened Brandon Rush playing like he did at the end of his rookie season (we can still dream).
- Troy Murphy still grabbing rebounds and scoring like a double-double machine (and he also miraculously learns to defend).
- A rejuvenated Mike Dunleavy who is back to 75-80 percent of his old self (and he too miraculously learns to defend).
- Dahntay Jones still playing heavy D and scoring like he knows he can.
That's a playoff team right there, possibly even a second-round playoff team. And in a few years, maybe even more.
Well, right now the Pacers are the seventh-worst team in the league (I know, when did they improve so much?), which would offer them only a 4.3 percent chance of landing the top pick in the next draft.
So, the next time the Pacers go on another losing streak (and let's face it, it's bound to happen), don't despair—just remember that it could potentially get them closer to landing John Wall and to maybe bringing the franchise out from the cellar.