Earlier this season there were media members and fans concerned about John Wall and how good he was going to ultimately become. After all, this was supposed to be his big breakout year. But over the last month those concerns have gone away and his doubters have gone back into hiding.
However, I still think it’s important that we put John Wall’s season in perspective and compare his production thus far to other young point guards in the NBA.
John Wall is 21 years old and averages 37 minutes per game. Below are the other seventeen NBA point guards that are 25 years of age or younger that also average at least twenty-five minutes per game.
Tyreke Evans, Mike Conley, Kyle Lowry, Derrick Rose, Russell Westbrook, Brandon Jennings, Jrue Holiday, Ricky Rubio, Ty Lawson, Darren Collison, Brandon Knight, Jeff Teague, Kyrie Irving, Rodney Stuckey, Kemba Walker, Mario Chalmers, and Lou Williams.
Of those eighteen point guards, John Wall averages the most minutes per game with 37 – which is also the second most among all NBA point guards behind only Deron Williams and tied for eleventh overall in the entire league.
In that same group of eighteen, only four average seven or more assists per game. They are Ricky Rubio (8.4), John Wall (7.7), Derrick Rose (7.6), and Kyle Lowry (7.5).
For those that get on John Wall’s poor shooting and low field goal percentage, let’s look at his efficiency shooting the ball through the lens of comparison. Wall’s current field goal percentage this season is 42.9 percent. Compare that to the other seventeen young point guards and only eight have a higher field goal percentage than that, which means John Wall falls perfectly in the middle of the pack at ninth out of 18. Is that great? Obviously not, but John’s field goal percentage isn’t something to concern yourself about – especially when he just finished his month of February shooting 48 percent from the field in fourteen games. Some notably low field goal percentages belong to Brandon Jennings (39.9%), Tyreke Evans (41.9%), Kemba Walker (36.7%), and Lou Williams (40.3%). All lower — and some considerably lower — than John Wall.
Player Efficiency Rating (PER) is an all-inclusive statistic that combines all positive and negative plays made. John Wall’s PER is currently at 18.35, which ranks seventh in that same group of young point guards. He only ranks behind Derrick Rose (24.88), Russell Westbrook (23.26), Kyrie Irving (21.21), Lou Williams (21.05), Kyle Lowry (20.30), and Ty Lawson (18.54). Glass-half-full people will point out how Wall only trails the reigning MVP, an NBA All-Star, this year’s first overall pick, the potential sixth man of the year, a player in Kyle Lowry that’s having a sensational season, and another good player in Ty Lawson. Those that choose to look at the glass as half empty will complain that John isn’t higher on that list and how he isn’t among the NBA’s elite young point guards like Derrick Rose or Russell Westbrook yet statistically. Both sides are right in their argument; it’s a matter of your perception. I just want to add that if you compare John Wall’s supporting cast here in Washington to any of those six point guards ahead of him in PER, it’s not even comparable outside of Kyrie Irving’s Cleveland Cavaliers. And to add to the perspective we’re putting John Wall’s PER in, the Celtics’ Rajon Rondo (who recently turned 26) has a PER of 18.28. Just behind our very own John Wall.
Finally, only one NBA point guard regardless of age averages at least 17 points, seven assists, and five rebounds per game. That point guard is John Wall.
We all get on Ernie Grunfeld for trading the fifth pick for essentially nothing and passing on Ricky Rubio in the 2009 draft — and rightfully so — but in the end it all worked out for the best. The Wizards won the draft lottery a year later and drafted John Wall. With that the course of the Wizards’ franchise was changed, and changed for the better.