It is a foregone conclusion that at the June 24, 2010 NBA draft the Washington Wizards will pick point guard John Wall from the University of Kentucky. What a mistake that will be. The Wizards may hit the wall if they take the Wall.
Point Guards Rarely Dominate the League
Name the five best point guards in the game today: Deron Williams, Chris Paul, Rajon Rondo, Derrick Rose, and Steve Nash. How many of these guys can dominate a game from the point guard spot? All of them. But how many of these guys have carried their team to a championship, won an MVP, or ever been considered the best player in the game?
Nash has been league MVP twice but has never played in the NBA Finals. Even when he was MVP, did anyone truly consider him the best player in the game? How about the top five?
Throw in the next two best point guards – Tony Parker and Chauncey Billups. These two have won championship rings. So out of the best seven point guards, we have three that have experienced ultimate team or personal success. How many of these point guards are ever named to be among the best players in the game? Good they are. Kobe, LeBron, Wade, and Dwight they aren’t.
Tony Parker could not have his championships without the great Tim Duncan and the excellent Manu Ginobili. Chauncey Billups was the right man at the right time on a balanced Pistons team. I am taking nothing away from these great point guards, but the chances of a point guard taking his team to NBA heights is rare.
Yet, John Wall is being spoken of as the kind of player that could turn around a franchise. He may improve Washington, but is he the kind of player they need to build around, a skinny 19 year old 190 pound point guard?
I like Wall’s game and he certainly led Kentucky to an excellent season during his one and done year. But historically, the league has seen only a handful of dominant point guards. Magic Johnson. Bob Cousy. Nate Archibald. John Stockton. Now consider the teammates who played with these point guards, and you’ll understand my point that taking a point number one, even the talented Wall, is the wrong move.
Magic had Kareem, Worthy, Cooper, and Scott when he won his championships. Rondo had Allen, Garnett, and Pierce two years ago. What dominant point guard, besides Magic, has ever carried his team to a championship? And would the Lakers have won those battles against the Celtics and 76’ers without other star players, wing players and big men?
Isiah Thomas comes to mind as a great point guard who was the best player on his team. Is Wall Isiah-esque? Maybe so.
Evan Turner is the Better All Around Player
The players who dominate the NBA are wing players and big men. The best wing player in this year’s draft is Evan Turner. The best big man is probably DeMarcus Cousins. Turner, the National Player of the Year, is clearly the best all around player. He won Player of the Year even though he missed a month of games. Turner has proven in three college seasons that he will be a highly productive NBA player, whereas Wall’s track record is one college season.
The Wizards would not go wrong by selecting Cousins, Wall’s Kentucky mate, at number one. They clearly need a post player, their biggest need on the roster. You never go wrong by taking a big, talented scorer and rebounder.
Washington Has a Good Point Guard in Gilbert Arenas
Besides, the Wizards already have a talented point guard in Gilbert Arenas. Apparently, Arenas is in the Wizards’ plans as they passed up an opportunity to move him elsewhere. Talk is that Washington will put Wall at the point and Arenas at the two guard where he began his career. But Gilbert is the man, wants to be the man, and needs to be the man. The Wizards locker room is not big enough for someone else who wants to run the show. And we certainly wouldn’t want to see Arenas hit the Wall, would we?
If Washington wants to use their fate-filled opportunity to succeed, they need to pick the best wing player in the draft, Evan Turner. If they want to become relevant in the paint during the 2010-11 season, they need to pick DeMarcus Cousins. If they want to alienate their best player and cause friction on their team and in their city, they need to pick John Wall.