The Washington Wizards made John Wall the first overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft. The former Kentucky point guard was the first Wildcat to go number one overall in history.
Four former Wilcat players went in the top 30, and another before the first round was over making Kentucky the first school to put five players in the first round of the draft.
Wall and the Wildcats fell short in the NCAA Tournament in the Final Four. Despite not achieving a NCAA championship, Wall takes his talents to the NBA where he is expected to make an instant impact.
“I feel like I had pressure since I became No. 1 in high school and was one of the top players,” Wall said. “I always got there hungry wanting to fight hard and compete in every game, so when I step on the court I’m going to take on any challenge there.”
The Wizards had a disappointing season both on the court and off, finishing 26-56 that saw them suffer a disappointing stretch of games in March in which they only won one game. Earlier in January Gilbert Arenas and Javaris Crittenton were suspended from the team for the remainder of the season after a locker room altercation involving guns.
Selected as the SEC player of the year, Wall could take over Arenas’ point guard duties, or play alongside him while Areanas assumes a two-guard role. Wall will try to become the third straight point-guard rookie of the year behind players Derrick Rose and Tyreke Evans. All three players are former students under John Calipari.
A few moments after the first pick was made, a deal was announced that would send Kirk Hinrich and the No. 17 overall pick, Kevin Serapin to the Wizards. Hinrich will bring his defensive expertise to the team, and could teach Wall how to become a better defender.
“I was always a leader by example being the first in the gym and the last in the gym,” Wall said. “But I’m a leader that doesn’t mind speaking up to the older guys.”
After being picked to go to the playoffs last year, the Wizards’ season soon spiraled out of control after the locker room altercation on New Year’s Day. Stars Antawn Jamison and Caron Butler were traded at the end of the year to make room for a rebuilding season.
NBA sportsbooks have set the Wizards as the team Wall will play his first NBA game with at -1000. Any other team’s odds were set at +550.