John Wall was expected to dazzle in the NBA summer league currently running in Las Vegas, and so he has done.
So much so, that he currently sits in the #2 spot on the NBA.com rookie rankings. The #1 spot is currently held by none other than Derrick Caracter, having replaced the Lakers other draft pick Devin Ebanks who has slipped to third.
Widely touted to be a high first round draft pick, Caracter was not selected until pick 58 of the second round by Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak, who is known to have an eye for talent.
Plagued by weight, conditioning, and attitude issues at Louisville, many wondered if Caracter even had a future beyond college. It is these same concerns that seem to have led to him being overlooked by so many teams with higher draft picks than the Lakers.
Derrick physically is most similar to Glen 'Big Baby' Davis of the Boston Celtics, and just like the big baby he is surprisingly agile for his size. He is an extremely efficient post player who operates well with his back to the basket, and can finish on either side (ala Pau Gasol). Unlike Gasol however, Caracter is ridiculously strong and once he establishes position in the post, the rock usually ends up in the hole.
He uses his strength to monster the boards, and gets more than his share of offensive rebounds. While there are still many areas of his game that need work, including his mid range game, there is no doubting his raw talent.
In the three games he has played so far in the summer league he is averaging 17.7 points at 59% in 34 mins per game, to go along with 10.7 rebounds and 2 assists. Not bad for the 58th pick in the second round.
If he continues this form through the summer league, he will almost guarantee himself a spot on the Lakers roster for next season, and lessen the already slim chances that the Lakers will bring back D.J Mbenga or Josh Powell.
There have been no signs of any attitude problems since arriving at the Lakers, and Caracter has also slimmed down from a high of 320lbs in college, to a workable 265lbs.
Derrick Caracter is putting in the effort, and so far the future looks bright for this baby giant.
I'd say he is the steal of the draft.