Kelly Dwyer from Ball Don’t Lie is compiling a list of the top 30 players at each position. Here’s what he thought of John Wall, Gilbert Arenas, and Andray Blatche–with commentary from yours truly following.
It’s all guesswork, at this point, isn’t it? We’ve seen Wall’s type before, and on some nights he’ll look like the best point guard in the league. On other nights he’ll look like a kid who should be suiting up against Mississippi State, and on others he’ll look like exactly what he is: A young talent who makes up for the missteps with fine play, a sound contributor regardless of age.
Considering Wall hasn’t played a single NBA game yet, it’s hard to be too perturbed by the ranking. I’d expect John to approach the top ten by season’s end though.
We had no idea what to expect from Arenas heading into 2009-10, after playing in just 15 of a possible 164 games the previous two years. We couldn’t have expected his felony gun possession charge, of course, which led to another long layoff and more question marks as John Wall(notes) comes to town and Arenas slides over to the shooting guard position. Washington, desperate to trade him, will no doubt feature Gilbert for big minutes. But despite his big per-game scoring numbers last year (20.6 a game), Arenas overall was pretty average, especially when you factor in his potentially league-worst defense.
This one is hard to swallow, mostly because Arenas used to be a top ten player in the NBA. Now he can’t crack the top ten at his own position. I disagree with Gil being ranked behind Jamal Crawford, who is a great sixth man but doesn’t have the same impact on the court. You could also make the case for Arenas to be ahead of Jason Richardson (ranked nine), Stephen Jackson (ranked eight), but until he actually plays an injury/suspension-free season, no one will put him back into “elite” status.
This is a glass-half-full ranking.
If Blatche really gets into Flip Saunders’ offense, plays hard and keeps his attitude in the right place? He’ll have a great year, possibly better (I’m not going to get too optimistic, considering his defense) than a few of the players ranked ahead of him.
It’s not likely to go that way. He’ll have good stretches and bad. Which is unfortunate, because he remains a tantalizing talent.
Completely agree with Dwyer’s reasoning here. Blatche is perfectly suited for 21. Yes, he had a great second-half, but he needs to put together a full season of high-scoring and discipline before he deserves to move up.
Notice how all three of those guys are major question marks and have the potential to make major moves up/down that list? Yeah, that’s basically the new-look Wizards summed up as a whole.