Today, when you ask someone with respectable NBA knowledge who the best point guard in the league is, there’s a good chance that either Stephen Curry or Russell Westbrook’s name will be the first out of their mouth, with Chris Paul likely the next. After that, there seems to be a tough call between Damian Lillard, Kyrie Irving, and John Wall.
Wall is consistently overlooked as a playmaker and passer year in and year out. Could it be because the Washington Wizards aren’t a team that often gets national TV time? Most likely. For those that have watched and studied Wall’s game enough, it wouldn’t be hard labeling him as the fourth best point guard in the game.
Wall being overlooked is nothing new. The GM’s around the league seem not to think too highly of him either, as he heads into his seventh season. In this year’s GM survey, Wall’s name wasn’t included in recognizing the top point guards.
It would’ve been interesting to see the survey include five instead of four. Wall’s name still wouldn’t appear on this list, though, because people are so taken away from what Lillard is doing (and rightfully so). In a way, there was really no expectations for him to make the list, especially considering the Finals that Irving had last June.
The GM’s also vote on who the best overall passers are. Now, this is the category that you think he would easily make, right?
Paul is undoubtedly the league’s best passer. He showcases that every game he plays in. Whether it’s a lob to Blake Griffin or DeAndre Jordan or creating open shots for J.J. Redick, he makes the game extremely easy. Who knows how effective any of those player’s careers would’ve panned out without Paul’s passing ability.
Despite finishing in the top-three in assists per game for the past three seasons, Wall received no consideration. You’d have a strong case for Wall and Rajon Rondo as the two players battling it out for that third spot. Ricky Rubio is a great passer, but Wall and Rondo are elite in that category.
Philadelphia 76ers rookie Ben Simmons’ name was considered alongside Rondo. Yes, a guy that hasn’t even played an NBA game as of yet already getting the nod from GM’s. Simmons is talented but is he that good to beat out players like Wall, Westbrook, or even James Harden (who is another very underrated passer).
He hasn’t received any votes for this category since he was drafted in 2010. Look at his assist per game averages for his career (no season with less than 7.6 in a season where he only played 49 games), and your mind should be blown by that.
Wall’s name did get mentioned in the most obvious category that the GM’s voted on, which was fastest player with the ball.
If this poll missed Wall, then the credibility of every NBA GM would’ve been seriously questioned.
Watching him, the “one-man fast break” and Westbrook go head-to-head is a show in itself when the two are out in the open floor. Still, it’s funny that Wall appears on this list after undergoing procedures on both knees this summer.
This perhaps is a part of his game that could be questioned, if any. His passing? That’s a guarantee.
2016-17 will go as usual for him. He’ll finish atop the leaderboards in assists per game, but still get overlooked as both a passer and a point guard. Same stuff, different day. Maybe one day people will realize the gifted player that Wall is.