Minnesota Timberwolves: Ranking the decade’s No. 1 overall picks by potential

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Minnesota Timberwolves: Ranking the decade’s No. 1 overall picks by potential

Minnesota Timberwolves, John Wall
John Wall of the Washington Wizards. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

No. 9 – John Wall, Washington Wizards, 2010

Coming out of the University of Kentucky, Wall was the best player on that roster. That says a lot, considering that DeMarcus Cousins was also part of the team. Wall posted a 16.6 points, 6.5 assists, 4.3 rebounds, and 1.8 steals per game with the Wildcats.

Wall led the Wizards to four straight playoff appearances from 2014 to 2018. Across his first nine years in the league, Wall has undoubtedly proven that he can be a top-five point guard in the NBA.

So why should he be placed at No. 9 in potential, for the upcoming decade, you may ask?

Wall is an all-gas, no-breaks type of player which can lead to some durability issues. In 2018, Wall decided to undergo surgery to repair recurring pain in his left heel and was expected to miss six to eight weeks. During that time, however, he slipped in his home and fully ruptured his Achilles tendon.

John Wall will be 30 at the start of the next NBA season and coming off a ruptured Achilles. Although Wall’s talent is by no means in question, this injury could hold him back from being the explosive player he used to be.

I hope I’m wrong, of course, but for now, he belongs at No. 10.

No. 8 – Markelle Fultz, Philadelphia 76ers, 2017

Markelle Fultz was the first-overall pick in a stacked 2017 NBA Draft which also had Lonzo Ball and Jayson Tatum in contention for the top selection. Simply put, Fultz was an all-around basketball player who could do it all, Fultz averaged 23.2, 5.9 assists, 5.7 rebounds, 1.6 steals, and 1.2 blocks per game — a line that will certainly catch your eye.

Fultz had a very interesting start to his career with the 76ers. Fultz was diagnosed with a Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, a shoulder injury that caused some pain and discomfort in his shoulder during his shot. He played 33 games with the 76ers before being traded to the Orlando Magic at the beginning of the 2019-20 season.

In his first somewhat-full season Fultz played 64 games, starting 59 of them. He posted career highs in Orlando averaging 12.1 points, 5.2 assists, 3.3 rebounds, and 1.3 steals per game.

A fully healthy Fultz could mean a strong future in general, and, more specifically, the development of his outside game. He is also only 22 years old, and if he can stay healthy he can become a high-level scoring playmaker.