John Wall told Rivals.com on Wednesday that he will not enter the 2009 NBA Draft.
"I'm going to school for one or two years and trying to win a national championship," Wall said, and that might mean something if I hadn't spent years listening to one lottery pick after another swear they were putting off NBA riches only to reverse course a few weeks later. Mike Conley and Jonny Flynn come to mind, just off the top of my head.
So no, I do not believe this Wall-to-the-NBA story is over.
Not yet, regardless of what anybody says -- and the reason is because of Wall's 13-point, 11-assist, five-steal performance in Sunday's Nike Hoops Summit that made NBA people start to ask why the nation's top-rated point guard isn't seriously considering the NBA Draft given that there seems to be a loophole that would allow him to enter despite the fact that he's still technically a high school player.
According to the age-limit rule, an American-born player can be eligible for the draft if the player is at least 19 years old during the calendar year of the draft, plus one NBA season removed from his high school graduation or one NBA season removed from the date on which he should've graduated high school. Nobody is disputing that Wall is already 19, and sources have confirmed to CBSSports.com that he began high school in August 2004, meaning Wall should've graduated in May 2008, i.e., before this NBA season began. In other words, if Wall applied for the draft the NBA might really have to approve his application, and even if the organization initially fought Wall's inclusion industry sources believe there isn't a decent attorney who couldn't win a lawsuit based on the ambiguity of the rule.
Asked if he could imagine a scenario under which Wall's application for the NBA Draft would be denied, Sonny Vaccaro, a longtime person of influence in the sport, answered quickly. "No," Vaccaro told CBSSports.com on Wednesday night. "I'm going to say 'No' because I'm reading the rule."
Vaccaro said he has spoken with "a number" of NBA scouts in the past three days.
"They've all told me (Wall) would go in the top eight," Vaccaro said. "Nobody has said he'd go lower than eight."
Wall is now in New York preparing for Saturday's Jordan Brand Classic.
At tip-off, rest assured there will be many interested viewers.
"Somebody from every lottery team will be there," Vaccaro said. "There is no question in my mind."
Worth noting: The eighth pick in this NBA Draft will receive a guaranteed two-year contract worth roughly $4.3 million.