Washington Wizards: Wall and Beal Cracks SI’s Top 100 List

(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /

Washington Wizards backcourt duo Bradley Beal and John Wall made their appearances in Sports Illustrated’s Top 100 Players heading into the 2019 NBA season.

Following the rankings of Dwight Howard (69) and Otto Porter Jr (47), Sports Illustrated continued their list of the Top 100 Players heading into the 2019 NBA season. With the release of players 30-11 unveiled, Washinton Wizards all-star backcourt made an appearance in SI’s top half.

Falling right outside the top-25, coming in at number 27 is Wizards star shooting guard, Bradley Beal. After a season where he was named an all-star for the first time in his career, Beal finished five spots higher than his rank heading into last season.

"Taking over the responsibility for an offense can’t help but change a player. Even though Beal will always see the game as a scorer first, he was more patient when it came to reading the floor and letting his options develop. The lesson, contrary to the extreme reaction at the time, was not that the Wizards are better off without Wall. It was that the Wizards are better off without Wall dominating the offense, which Beal could do more to help orchestrate."

After a phenomenal year that saw him averaged 22.6 points, 4.5 assists, with a PER of 18.4, Beal deserved the recognition as a top-five shooting guard in the league.

However, while Beal saw an increase in his SI ranking, the same could not be said for his backcourt mate, John Wall. After missing half the 2018 season due to a knee injury, Wall barely cracked the top-25, coming in at number 24 heading into the new year.

"The five-time All-Star missed half the season due to injury, ranked outside the top 45 by PER, Win Shares, Real Plus-Minus and WARP, and was quickly bounced in the first round of the playoffs. At 28, Wall has never led a 50-win team, he’s led just one top-10 offense, and he’s won just three total playoff series during his eight-year career. That body of work doesn’t compare—at all—to the likes of Stephen Curry, Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook."

It’s crazy to think that Wall, who ranked as the fifth-best point guard and 13th overall player last year, was penalized due to health issues and never leading his team to a 50-win season, especially mocked for winning only three playoffs series in his first eight seasons.

At this stage in his career, Wall has one more playoff series win than Houston Rockets star guard, Chris Paul, who only recorded two postseason victories by the end of his eighth season. And not to mention the countless of injuries that Paul has endured over the course of his career.

dark. Next. Wizards: Howard and Porter Make SI’s Top 100 List

Yet, Sports Illustrated felt that Paul, a player who is clearly near the end of his prime, is more deserving of a top-five point guard spot over Wall. Excluding Stephen Curry and Russell Westbrook from the list, other point guards ranked ahead of Wall are Kyrie Irving, Damian Lillard, and Kyle Lowry.