Raleigh Word of God's John Wall may be eligible for the 2009 NBA draft, though there has been no indication from Wall or his advisers that the 6-foot-4 point guard will apply for early eligibility.
Typically, a player is not eligible for the draft until at least one NBA season has elapsed since his high school graduation, which is more commonly known as the "one-and-done" rule, which is why players spend at least a year in college.
But a player can enter the draft if he is at least 19 years old (Wall is), has not graduated from high school and at least one NBA season has elapsed since the graduation of the class with which the player would have graduated had he graduated from high school.
Wall is scheduled to graduate from Word of God this spring but is in his fifth year of high school. He spent two years at Garner High School and started his junior year at Broughton before transferring to Word of God, which reclassified him as a sophomore. If he had stayed at Broughton or at Garner, he would have graduated in 2008.
NBA spokesman Tim Frank said the league would look into Wall's situation if he applies to enter the draft.
"Any player that declares for early eligibility is verified after they
apply ... if he applies, we will do our due diligence at that time," Frank said.
Neither Wall nor Brian Clifton, the head of his summer team, could be reached immediately for comment. Clifton has said previously that Wall was likely to enter the draft in 2010, when he was widely expected to be the first or second player taken.
He's not listed on many of the 2009 mock drafts. This year's draft includes several point guards who could be lottery picks — Ricky Rubio of Spain, Jeff Teague of Wake Forest (considering the draft), Stephen Curry of Davidson, Brandon Jennings (prep star who played overseas this season), Ty Lawson of North Carolina and Tyreke Evans of Memphis.
Wall was outstanding in last week's Nike Hoops Summit game in Portland, Ore., setting the game record with 11 assists and tying the record for steals with five.
He is expected to play in the Jordan Brand All-America Game in Madison Square Garden this week and make an official visit to Miami next week.
Last Thursday, Wall said he was considering scholarship offers from N.C. State, Memphis, Miami, Kentucky, Kansas, Duke and Baylor.