ESPN's Marc Stein reported yesterday that Washington Wizards point guard John Wall has accepted an invitation to attend Team USA's training camp in Las Vegas next week. Wall's initial exclusion was viewed by many as a snub, as the young guard is coming off a breakout season. But the report is that the team wanted Wall in camp all along and was waiting to make sure he was full committed and able to play at his full strength after a the Wizards' lengthy season. Wall will join teammate Bradley Beal in camp, making the Wizards one of two teams with two players on the camp roster, Golden State being the other with Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. While the team will add Wall, they will lose a high-profile name in Blake Griffin. The Clippers forward withdrew his name for consideration from the final roster, as he has chosen to dedicate himself entirely to the Clippers' 2014-2015 season.
Wall, like Beal, is far from a lock to make the final roster of 12, as he will be competing against fellow point guards Curry, Derrick Rose, Damian Lilllard, and Kyrie Irving for a limited number of guard spots. However, Wall has a few factors working in his favor. The loss of Griffin, considered a lock to make the team, opens up anther spot. While this spot is likely to go to another forward, having more roster space to work with can't hurt Wall's chances. Another key factor will be the health of Derrick Rose. Even if Rose proves to be close to 100%, he's far from a guarantee, and he may choose to prioritize a healthy return to the Bull's season and minimize any potential setbacks with his knees, leaving another spot open. Even with those spots open, Wall will still have to fight tooth and nail to beat out Irving, Lillard and Curry.
Wall is clearly the best defender out of the four, and he's a better passer and distributor than Lillard and Curry. He's arguably the most well-rounded point guard on the roster as far as playing both sides of the ball. But Irving, Lillard and Irving are all better shooters than Wall, whose jumper, while improved, isn't enough to beat people with yet. What Wall can do, however, is set up other shooters, as he athleticism and ability to draw defenders in led to plenty of good looks for his teammates last year. If Wall can demonstrate his all-around game in camp and showcase the skills that set him apart form the other point guards on the roster, he has a shot of making it to Spain.
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Tags: Basketball, John Wall, NBA, Washington, Washington Wizards