UPDATE 6:06 pm: In his pregame comments, Wizards coach Flip Saunders said that Wall would be a game-time decision, to be made after he warmed up. If Wall does play, he will come off the bench, Saunders said.
11: 28 am: For the last week, John Wall has ceded the “ridiculous rookie highlight of the night” to Blake Griffin, but tonight that streak ends. And not just because the Clippers aren’t playing.
Wall will be back on the court with the Washington Wizards tonight after missing four games due to a sprained ankle, according to the Washington Post. He fully participated in practice Monday, which is a good sign.
The Wizards take on the Sixers, so Wall would get a good test with Jrue Holliday and No. 2 pick Evan Turner in opposing colors. Also, Gilbert Arenas said he is good going to the bench or playing whatever role is needed with Wall’s return. Arenas and Kirk Hinrich have played well and kept the Wizards at 2-2 in the four games Wall missed.
I’d probably come to your attention that John Wall is kind of a big deal. He’s been the anticipated No.1 overall selection since the start of the college basketball season, and has become one of the most hyped picks of the last decade. His upside is based not only on his ridiculous athleticism and talent, but the fact that his game is so much better suited for the NBA style.
But let’s not undersell the athleticism. Particularly in light of his draft camp performance.
There are tons of reasons to disregard the NBA draft camp. Most players don’t participate in the basketball drills. The agility and leaping drills have led to many players being overrated who simply can’t play basketball. There’s just more to basketball than the physical tools. But we can use the measurements and testing as another tool in our evaluation.
And using it in that manner? Wall’s off the charts.
In the measurements, Wall posted a 6-9.25 wingspan. You can think of the relevance there in terms of his ability to contain large, long guards like Rajon Rondo. You can also use it when projecting his ability to create his own shot over long players and rebounding prowess. As a comparison? Wall’s wingspan was longer than expected No. 2 pick Evan Turner’s 6-8 wingspan. Turner is 6-8 in terms of height, while Wall is 6-4, and yet Wall has a longer wingspan. That’s incredible.
The 25 yard dash was also ridiculous for Wall, who posted the top time of his group with a 3.14. As a comparison, Darren Collison, who is considered one of the fastest players in the league, posted a 3.10. So Wall wasn’t unbelievable, but he was still stunning. His vertical and other numbers will be available later in the week, but it should be noted:
John Wall is every bit the freak of nature we think he is.