Over a two-week period, I will be breaking down the strengths and weaknesses of the Washington Wizards players. So far, I have evaluated the games of Andray Blatche, JaVale McGee, Josh Howard, Gilbert Arenas, Kirk Hinrich and Yi Jianlian. Today's breakdown is John Wall.
John Wall is a 6'4" point guard, weighing in at 195 pounds. He is 20 years of age, spending only one year at Kentucky before declaring himself eligible for the 2010 NBA draft.
The Washington Wizards selected him with the No. 1 overall pick. The Wizards are expecting him to be part of their rebuilding process, after bringing back only four players who were on the roster at the beginning of last season: Gilbert Arenas, Andray Blatche, JaVale McGee and Nick Young.
In 34.8 minutes per game while at Kentucky, John Wall averaged 16.6 points, 6.5 assists, 4.3 rebounds, 1.8 steals, and 0.5 blocks.
He then joined the Wizards summer league team, and immediately made his presence known. He averaged 23.5 points and 7.8 assists per game, and showed a keen ability to get everyone involved.
He especially connected well with JaVale McGee and, in his one appearance during summer league, Nick Young.
John Wall will be expected to help this Wizards team improve on last year's 26-56 record. His strengths are court leadership, incredible speed with the ball, athleticism, ability to finish at the basket, excellent passer, solid rebounder for a guard, quick hands, good defender and endless energy.
Even Derrick Rose, one of the fastest point guards in the league believes that Wall is faster than him.
John Wall does have a number of weaknesses, but all are easily correctable. He is a decent free-throw shooter, averaging 75.4 percent in college. His jump shot is inconsistent, but he does have good form.
Wall will be able to improve both of those areas, but it will take a lot of hours shooting, and the extra focus that all excellent shooters possess.
His biggest weakness is the turnover. While he does rack up a large number of assists, he has a tendency to make very difficult passes, which sometimes result in a turnover. The Wizards will need him to limit his turnovers to around two to three per game.
Ultimately, the sky is the limit for John Wall. He has the talent to be an NBA All-Star for the next 12-15 years. I see his rookie averages to end up around 18 points, nine assists, five rebounds, two steals and four turnovers per game. For his career, Wall should be around 21 points, 11 assists, six rebounds, two steals, and 2.5 turnovers per game.
Critics believe that Gilbert Arenas and John Wall will have to blend their styles in order for the Wizards to be successful. I do not believe that this will be as big of an issue as many are making it out to be.
Arenas has never had the chance to be a full-time shooting guard, but I do believe he will be able to adapt his game to fit in with Wall. Wall may actually help Arenas get more open three-pointers and long-range jump shots. Arenas will also have the ball in his hands quite often, since most shooting guards are required to handle the ball frequently.
John Wall is a difference maker, a real game changer, and the Wizards will need him to be.
He has the ability to make everyone around him better, and as people watch him play, free-agents may want to come to Washington to play alongside him.
Wall will be the front-runner for the NBA Rookie of the Year award, and he has the talent to lead the Wizards to a 40-45 win season this year.