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NBA draft player profile: Cason Wallace

Could another Kentucky guard blossom into an NBA star?

Kentucky v Kansas State Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

Cason Wallace has made a name for himself as one of the best perimeter defenders in college basketball. He combines incredible effort with high-level instincts and strong physical tools. As a lead guard for Kentucky, he controlled a lot of the offense and showed some untapped potential as a creator. Could he be the next Kentucky draft prospect to boom in the NBA?


  • Draft age: 19.62 years
  • Height: 6’2.5” (without shoes)
  • Wingspan: 6’8.5”
  • Weight: 195.2 lbs.
  • Position: Guard


  • Points: 11.7
  • Rebounds: 3.7
  • Assists: 4.3
  • Steals: 2.0
  • 44.6% FG
  • 34.6% 3P
  • 75.7% FT


Wallace’s primary strength is his point-of-attack defense. His combination of quickness, length, aggressiveness, and instincts is a nightmare for ball handlers. Wallace pressures the ball but maintains his position in front of the offensive player. He keeps his chest in front and causes turnovers with his relentlessness. Despite high energy and an incredible steal rate, Wallace manages to stay in control and not gamble too much. Getting past him exhausts opposing guards. A few rare players take pride in their defense on every single possession, and Cason Wallace is one of them.

Cason Wallace’s defensive acumen doesn’t end there. He’s also a strong off-ball defender with an instinctual understanding of the game. He makes intelligent rotations, quarterbacks the defense, and even makes incredible chase-down blocks in transition. Wallace is an underrated athlete with a plus wingspan and legitimate end-to-end speed. Wallace had the best lane agility score of any projected lottery pick in the NBA Draft Combine.

Wallace is a solid shooter with textbook shooting form. He’s effective off-ball as a spacing shooter and even has some self-creation shot-making that should project to the NBA level. He’s a comfortable ball-handler and has a nice touch in the midrange. Wallace had solid finishing numbers at the rim. He can run the pick and roll and has good court vision. While he doesn’t project to be a high-usage offensive player, Kentucky guards have a history of breaking expectations in that area, and Wallace has shown some untapped potential as a creator.


While I see the potential for Wallace to expand his offensive game, his biggest weakness is his limitations on offense. He’s mostly an off-ball player in the body of a point guard. Teams are often looking for a potential star in the lottery, and Wallace’s lack of primary creation, at least so far in his career, could limit his ceiling.

In that same lane, Wallace’s shooting ability is mainly limited to catch-and-shoot threes and pull-up twos. The ability to self-create and efficiently make pull-up threes has become vital for NBA guards. If Wallace can improve that area of his game, he’ll be a reasonably complete player without any significant weaknesses to exploit. As he is now, defenders can safely go under screens against him.

Utah Jazz fit:

The Utah Jazz have a young core of complimentary players. Lauri Markkanen may be the best off-ball scorer in the NBA. Walker Kessler is already an elite rim protector and pick-and-roll finisher. Ochai Agbaji could be a textbook “3 & D” wing. Utah is building a young core with length, athleticism, and an unselfish attitude. Cason Wallace fits that bill. He’s not the lead creator that can take the reigns of this offense, but realistically, that type of player probably won’t be available at this point in the draft. Instead, the Jazz will look for another complimentary piece to add to Markkanen and Kessler. Cason Wallace would be just that.

Overall analysis:

Cason Wallace is a winning player. He will be a fan favorite wherever he goes. On top of that, he’ll make his team better. That’s an ability that is rarer than you might think. Wallace might be an easy choice if he is still on the board at 9.

Providence v Kentucky Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images