With the final pick of the 2016 NBA Draft the Utah Jazz selected Tyrone Wallace. (This was one of the GSW picks we got for helping them build a championship team.) Tyrone Wallace is a big lead guard with combo guard aspirations. Unlike Marcus Paige, a shooter who was short but couldn't defend; we have a taller guard who can defend who can't shoot in Wallace. I guess if you mash them together really hard you may get one really good player, but I don't know if player development works on play-doh rules. Regardless, whatever you have with Wallace you have a long guard. He's 6'6 with a 6'9 wingspan, and that's what you have with . I don't have much else to discuss with Wallace's anthropometrics, but his 6'9.50" wingspan is better than a number of guards on the team already: , , , , and . Long arms are a plus, but so is making shots. And that's going to be the question going forward for Wallace.
Wallace was born in Bakersfield, California. (The hometown of FX's Chip Baskets) He also went to high school there, and then went to college a little north in Berkley. He was on a lot of people's lists for a long time, but just never rose to the top. He was a 4 star rated point guard by Rivals.com, but was the 13th best PG in America as a high school senior. He had a chance to play for Oregon or Arizona State, but picked University of California, Berkeley because former NBA head coach Mike Montgomery was going to play him -- and he became the starter as a Freshman.
His Senior season was a bit of a let down (more in the next section), but it's fair to say that he's a very real prospect for the Jazz at #60. Just maybe not this season, but perhaps down the road. And this is where we get back to the issue of rising to the top. He was on lists growing up for colleges. And again (as you'll see later on) lists for predraft scouts. But here he made the one list that matters -- he was drafted. Hundreds of players wish they were in his shoes right now.
And it's going to be up to him to see how far he can rise. I like this kid. I don't know if he was the 60th best player in the world last year. But I am leaving the door open for him to surprise me.
Another four-year player, this time at California (unlike Weber State or UNC), we have a guy playing with some level of freedom to his game. I don't know how well that will translate to the NBA though, and an actual offensive system. Anyway, the 6'6 guard played in 129 games in college, and got 4,074 minutes under his belt. Overall that averages out to 31.6 mpg, and for the most part you can say that he had a better Junior year than Senior year. But that's injuries for ya.
As a Junior (in about 2 more mpg) he averaged 17.1 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 4.0 apg, 1.3 spg, and made 31.8% of his threes. As a Senior he averaged 15.3 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 4.4 apg, 1.0 spg, and made 29.9% of his threes. Not a huge drop off, but all in all as a college player he leaves with 12.6 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 3.4 apg, and 1.1 spg. He does a little of everything, but clearly isn't yet at his best. He is, however, 22 years old already. (A few months younger than Trey Burke, whom so much of Jazzfandom has already written off -- despite being younger than Rodney Hood who apparently is going to be an All-NBA player.) (#Hypocrisy) I don't know how much upside he has to him, but the versatility of his game and the overall utility of being a system wing defender with a 6'9 wingspan is always nice to have.
He had more defensive win shares than offensive win shares over his career in the Pac-12. And while he wasn't a shooter's shooter (.415 .292 .613) he did shot that he can take about three shots from deep a game and make about one a game. That's not impressive at all. But at least he's making one. It's not the focus of his game, and over time players can learn to shoot. Just ask(who was also a non-making 6'5 guard who got rebounds and assists at Cal back in the day). I'm not saying he's the next Jason Kidd. I am saying that he isn't someone you can work with. He can be. But right now he's that "D and no three" archetype that we had in , but this time with better handles.
Wallace was on my big board, but so were 250+ other players. That's not saying a lot. He did come in at #80 overall in my consensus rankings. Seven people had him on big boards or mock drafts, the people at Walter Football had him at #57 and NBADraft.net had him at #59. The bigger named guys who did list him (DX, Chad Ford) didn't have him that high. I had him at #73 in my own rankings, so for him to jump to #60 wasn't expected, but at least two other people thought he was a 2nd rounder. But because only two people felt that way I think it's fair that we could say that most scouts felt like he could have been had as an undrafted player. (If he agreed to the contract with Utah, he may not have wanted to go to a team with a billion point guards already on the roster.)
One of the NBA Draft guys I really respect, Kevin O'Connor, breaks part of his game down this way:
As stated earlier, he basically has the same height and length as Dante Exum, so in a way there's some continuation of defense there that could happen if down the line Wallace is on the team backing Exum up. And from the film I've watched, I think he's going to be more capable of an immediate defensive impact as well. Against point guards his size will be an asset. Against wings, like Kev says, he is going to need to get a little stronger. Of course, with the way the wings are right now, they are all somehow turning their bodies into the bodies that only power forwards used to have back in the day. Guys like, , even Gordon Hayward have some #swole to them. And I don't know if anyone can really defend those guys. Asking your #60 draft pick, a point guard, to be able to muscle up against them may be just asking too much from an obviously talented player.
Offensively, we have a taller Quin Snyder isn't going to love a wing player who can't make jumpers. He may have started for other Jazz coaches in history though. You never know, right? He has the height and length, but not the bounce that you'd want from an NBA level athlete.who can't dribble as well or finish around the rim with that level of craftiness.
It could be clear that Wallace may not make it in the NBA. Being draft is an honor in itself.
1. Draft Express PRESEASON scouting video: Strengths
What you like here (as I get into my Hubie Brown phase in my life) is that he's a guard who knows how big he is, and uses that to his advantage. It allows for just a larger physical presence on the court on pick and rolls or in a defensive scheme. (The dimensions on the court are finite, after all) He can move, cover ground, and generally be groomed into a solid system. Offensively he can get his shot off against point guards, but doesn't really have a post up game like you'd want, see:. (...speaking of non-explosive, tall point guards) Please note that this is from before his Senior season, so some of the values are not 100% accurate, but the general idea of who this player is remains.
2. Draft Express PRESEASON scouting video: Weaknesses
There is a flip side to his strengths, and some of these are real reasons why he almost fell out of the NBA Draft entirely. Being long but not athletic is a problem. But as a guard or wing player, not being able to make jumpers is now the larger sin. Please note that this is from before his Senior season, so some of the values are not 100% accurate, but the general idea of who this player is remains.
3. Actual production from their college staff!
This shows some of his best moments, but there are other videos online that show more of his actual game, with worse soundtracks too. His length helps him out a lot, but I can imagine that at P3 he could become a more explosive leaper. But more than P3, he needs some time with shooting coaches.
Wallace is another point guard / combo guard. And as a result, he still has to deal with the same problems of making the team. The Depth chart for both positions suggest to me that it's likely that the #60 pick in the draft may not be making the team this fall.
|1||George Hill||Gordon Hayward|
|2||Dante Exum||Rodney Hood|
|4||Raul Neto||Dante Exum|
|5||Trey Burke||Joe Ingles|
|(Marcus Paige)||(Marcus Paige)|
|(Tyrone Wallace)||(Tyrone Wallace)|
Wallace has talent. And I like to think that he could play professionally somewhere. But again, let's circle back to Olivier Hanlan. Hanlan was a #42 pick who put in work in the NCAAs -- and had to go all the way to Latvia to continue working. There's currently more money to be made playing outside of the United States if you want to continue playing basketball professionally and aren't an NBA player. If Wallace does well enough and is offered a contract with the Salt Lake City Stars it could be cool. He has the defensive potential that could make him an NBA player down the line.
In a world where defense gets you on the court, Tyrone Wallace has a chance to make it anywhere.