05/17/2010 10:11 AM ET
James, Wall could be double trouble
As draft lottery nears, Nets dare to dream of star tandem
By Adam Zagoria / SNY.tv
Coach John Calipari (left) and star John Wall may be reunited in the NBA next season, possibly with LeBron James in New Jersey. (AP)

Imagine John Wall furiously pushing the ball in transition and then dishing off to LeBron James on the wing for a windmill dunk to finish.

If you're a New Jersey Nets fan, is this pure fantasy, or is it within the realm of possibility?

After their 12-70 finish last season, the Nets are in position to acquire both Wall and James to bolster their team as they begin a new era under the ownership of Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov.

The Nets will learn during Tuesday night's NBA draft lottery in Secaucus whether they will secure the rights to use the No. 1 pick on Wall, the 6-foot-4 freshman point guard from Kentucky.

The Nets stand a 25 percent chance of landing the No. 1 pick, according to The Hoops Report. Minnesota has the second-best chance at 19.9 percent.

If they do get Wall, it could be the first step towards bringing LeBron to New Jersey.

Remember, Wall and James enjoy a close relationship and James gave Wall some words of advice while he was still in high school about his future career.

"LeBron told me to enjoy [college]," Wall said during the NCAA tournament. "The NBA is going to come. I came to college for a reason, I wanted to enjoy it and see how the experience was."

James, who jumped from high school to the NBA before the league's age minimum was in effect, told Wall to try his best to ignore the hype surrounding him and to just play ball.

"It went great," Wall said of the talk with James. "He told me, coming out of high school, that he went straight to the NBA and people expected so much from him. He told me that there is going to be a lot of hype, but you have to go out there and play basketball. That's what I try to do when I get out there, to forget about the hype. The advice that he gave me meant a lot, and I try to ignore all the intentions people have for me and to just play for my teammates."

After the NCAA tournament, Adrian Wojnarowksi of Yahoo! Sports reported that James' fledgling marketing company, LRMR, was in talks to bring Wall aboard.

Instead, Wall signed with agent Dan Fegan of Blue Entertainment Sports Television.

Fegan represents a number of basketball stars, including Spanish point guard Ricky Rubio and Dallas Mavericks players Shawn Marion and Jason Terry.

Wall is seen as a transcendent personality who can captivate fans and also sell a variety of products, including sneakers.

If the Nets do land Wall, would James want to come play with him next season at The Prudential Center and eventually in Brooklyn?

"Oh yeah, I think he definitely would," one NBA scout said. "In New Jersey's case, they have some good young players and they have one of the best young big guys in the game in [Brook] Lopez."

James, of course, is also friendly with Jay-Z, the rap mogul and Nets minority owner.

The Nets have some $26 million in salary-cap space to pursue James and other free agents.

The conventional wisdom is that James, the two-time reigning NBA MVP, will land in one of five locations. He will either remain in Cleveland or leave for New York, New Jersey, Chicago or Miami, the teams with the most salary-cap space.

The Chicago Tribune reported on Monday that William Wesley, a confidant of both James and Kentucky coach John Calipari, was trying to broker a package deal that would bring both Calipari and James to the Bulls, Nets or Clippers. All three franchises have coaching openings and significant cap space.

In order to diffuse the rumors that he was leaving, Calipari recently tweeted that he planned to remain at Kentucky.

"I want to address this with the Big Blue Nation one last time, I will be coaching at Kentucky next year. Now let's finish what we started!"

Yet, Calipari's name remains associated with the opening in Chicago and the potential one in Cleveland. He coached Bulls point guard Derrick Rose at Memphis and attended a Celtics-Cavaliers playoff game, sitting near James' agent, Leon Rose.

"Who is the one coach everybody in the county is talking about?" the NBA scout asked. "John. He's the hottest ticket in town. After LeBron, he's the second-hottest name. He's the hottest coach.

"His value goes up, up, up."

Whether Calipari is coaching James next year remains to be seen.

Until then, Nets fans can hold out hope of a bright future that includes both this year's No. 1 draft pick and this year's top free agent.

Adam Zagoria is a regular contributor to SNY.tv. Read his blog at ZagsBlog.com and follow him on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/AdamZagoria.
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