It's been clear since the first game John Wall played at the University of Kentucky that he had the potential to be a superstar in the NBA. Many compared him to a player with a mix of Derrick Rose's scoring abilities and Rajon Rondo's passing skills. The Wizards organization are hoping that they will be able to rebuild around Wall like how the Bulls built around Rose.
With Rose being the Most Valuable Player for the 2010-2011 season, many people are starting to dismiss the comparison between Wall and Rose due to the huge gap of improvement Rose had to overcome to get where he is at.
According to Michael Lee of the Washington Post, John Wall has already made it clear that he has intentions of making the playoffs next year and then being in the MVP race the year after that.
“Next year, I just want to be in the playoffs,” Wall said. “Everything I didn’t do good this year, you’re going to see me get better at next season, making jump shots, being more confident, less turnovers. But studying a lot, being a better defender, all those things. That’s the same thing Derrick said, ‘I want to be MVP.’ It might not happen next year, but at least by my third year, I want to be in the race.”
In order for Wall to fulfill his wishes, the Wizards organization will have to help get valuable assets for the team. Wall himself will also have to work on different parts of his game to make the strides that Rose made within three years.
This draft is a very weak one due to all the headliners returning to college for another shot at the NCAA title and a dodge at the new CBA coming up this summer.
Although the chances of finding a superstar are low, this draft has a lot of role players that should be able to contribute to some teams right away. One of those prospects is Enes Kanter, the Turkish big man from the University of Kentucky who was ruled ineligible to play in college. There may not be much film on him, but from looking at workouts and the Nike Hoop Summit, you see the toughness in his game (which the Wizards are lacking).
Kanter expressed his desire to play with fellow Kentucky alum John Wall and also play in the nation's capital. The problem is that the Wizards have the No. 6 overall pick and Kanter is projected to be picked in the top five. Now the question becomes, how important is Kanter to the Wizards?
Kanter is very important because the Wizards are full of big men who play a "finesse"-style of play, which leads to their bigs being muscled often. He would immediately be a cornerstone to this team's rebuilding process if drafted, but it looks like the Wizards will need to make a big trade to get into at least the top five.
With the new breed of ultra-athletic point guards coming into the NBA, many possess the lack of a consistent jump shot. John Wall, I must say, is still a work in progress but has showed improvement since his first few games with the Wizards.
Derrick Rose's development of a jump shot is one of the factors that take part in the success he has had in scoring this past season. Defenders are going underneath screens when John Wall calls for the pick and roll, which eventually leads to Wall taking a jump shot that will more than likely be a miss than a make.
Wall needs to remember that this isn't high school or college where players will just look great merely off of athleticism and not really playing "basketball." Players are smarter at this level, and when they know you have struggled shooting the ball in the past, they will live on it all game long.
One of the things the Bulls did great this past offseason was surround their soon-to-be star, Derrick Rose, with players who could shoot well or defend well.
When you have a point guard that likes to penetrate, it is almost essential for a player who can knock down a open shot to set up for the easy assist. That is all Derrick Rose did and so did John Wall. The only difference was that Rose had people that could actually consistently knock down those shots while Wall had occasional shooters on the wing.
Every team needs defense, but it is always good for a team to have a player that is a defensive specialist and will step up to guard any superstars just to slow them down a bit. Right now the Wizards have a defensive player in Jeffers but could use another one as insurance.
Some players the Wizards may want to look for through free agency are:
This past season, Wall has been pretty reckless with the basketball which results in a lot of turnovers. Part of the reason why Wall seemed so reckless was because every week, one of the Wizards' scorers would go down with an injury", and Wall would take it upon himself to become a score-first point guard.
I'm not saying that Wall can't be a good scorer in this league, I'm just saying that he came in with Gilbert Arenas, Nick Young and Andray Blatche doing all of the scoring for him, so he hasn't really been in that situation in the NBA.
A lot of times Wall was trying to do too much when going to the rim and got the ball stripped away. This isn't something that is too concerning being that turnovers usually go down as the NBA experience increases.
The Wizards made it clear around mid-December that they were ready to rebuild without players that may cause a distraction to the team when trading away Gilbert Arenas. As Arenas departed, another bad seed began to grow on the team in Andray Blatche, who has a track record of immature decisions but just doesn't seem to get it.
It's unfortunate that after a promising season in Washington, where he broke out following the trade that sent Antwan Jamison to the Cleveland Cavaliers, that he didn't really follow through his performance this season.
Over the offseason, Blatche did suffer a broken foot that could've hindered his progress to getting back in basketball-playing shape, but when he did come back, he didn't do the simple things in basketball that don't even require being in the best shape. Such as rotating on defense, boxing out or recognizing bad shot selection from good shot selection.
The Wizards' management obviously made a mistake by signing him to a deal this offseason, and it is the main reason many teams don't want to have anything to do with him. They may have to stick it out with Blatche this season to get his trade value up, but unless he matures both on and off the court, I don't see him being a part of the future.