In last years prediction I gave you Tyreke Evans, over everyone’s favorite Blake Griffin, granted my prediction might only have come true because Griffin didn’t play a single game last year, but nobody will ever know what Griffin would’ve actually done last year. In a poll taken by 40 of this years rookies John Wall was the runaway winner in the Rookie of the Year category, and I am one to agree with them.
The six-foot four inch playmaker from the University of Kentucky is once every decade or so type player, and is the most athletically-gifted player to come into the league since Lebron James. John Wall will be making his presence felt immediately in the NBA this year, he is arguably already the fastest player with the ball in his hands in the NBA and probably already has the best natural playmaking ability at the point guard position. Granted he will not be the best point guard in the NBA in his first year, but give him 2-3 years experience at the NBA level and he will be THE best point guard in the league. He has been gifted with supreme athletic and playmaking ability, stuff that you cannot teach, stuff that will be making the top ten plays list each night on Sportscenter for years to come. The only thing lacking, besides experience, is a consistent outside shot. Wall can shoot and is a better natural shooter than Tyreke Evans or Derrick Rose (the 2 previous Calipari point guards), but is very streaky from the outside and will have to develop a more consistent outside shot to force defenses to respect his shooting ability and not dare him to shoot, restricting his driving lanes a la Rajon Rondo. I expect Wall to at least have an impact similar to Tyreke Evans, but think that he will average a few more points and assists per game while grabbing a few less rebounds a game.
My prediction for John Wall’s rookie season is 22 ppg, 7 apg, 3.5 rebounds, and 2 steals per game. Wall will help out fantasy owners in the percentages as he is a good free throw shooter and will score a lot of his points in the lane and from the free throw line, as was a problem with Evans I expect Wall to be turnover prone in his first year as he is always looking to make the big play. There are only two real threats to Walls ROY campaign and those come in the form of big men Blake Griffin and Demarcus Cousins. The first pick last year is a beast and if he can return from injury as that same beast there is an outside chance of him challenging Wall for ROY. Cousins, Walls college teammate, is a physical beast, the likes of which are only matched by Shaq and Dwight Howard, nobody outside of Dwight Howard will be able to guard him one on one, but the reason Cousins dropped to Sacramento in the draft, his mental game, is the same reason he won’t be able to win the ROY. Cousins will be a presence in the NBA for years to come along with Wall, and these two look to be the joining the next wave of perennial NBA All-Stars.