John Wall: “I want to be in the MVP conversation”

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Going into his sixth year in the NBA, John Wall has finally had a taste of playoff success. The Wizards have made the second round in the last two seasons, and he’s established himself as one of the best point guards in the league. It’s no surprise at all that his next individual goal is to win MVP.

From BasketballInsiders.com’s Alex Kennedy:

Basketball Insiders: What are some of your individual goals for this year?

John Wall: “I want to be in the MVP conversation and give myself a shot at being the MVP. That means I need to play well, help my teammates play well, get those guys shots and lead my team to wins. I definitely want to be an All-Star starter again. I want to be All-NBA First Team. I want to be on the All-Defensive First Team; I was All-Defensive Second Team last year. I think I was snubbed from the All-NBA Third Team last year, but I just use that as motivation for this year to try to get better. Another individual goal is definitely leading the league in assists this year. There are a lot of things I want to do, but those are some of the main ones.”

Basketball Insiders: I’m glad you brought up the MVP award because I was going to ask you about that. The Wizards rely on you so much on both ends of the floor and you’re so important to the team, yet you weren’t in the MVP conversation last year. There were 12 players who received at least one MVP vote last year, but you weren’t one of them. Does that motivate you?

John Wall: “Yeah, totally. I’m a point guard, so I don’t score a lot. I know I could score 24 points if I wanted on any given night, but I’m a guy who can average 18 points and 10 assists, and I’m perfectly fine with that as long as my team is winning. I’m just a guy who does whatever my team needs: rebounding, getting blocks, trying to shut down the best player on the other team. I’m willing to do all of that, and I think that’s what an MVP-type player does because they’re the most valuable player to their team.”

It’s not completely out of the question that Wall could win the award, either this year or at some point in his career. He’s that talented. A lot will depend on his team’s success — if the Wizards are a 4 or 5 seed, it’s less likely that he wins the award than if they have an out-of-nowhere 60-win campaign like last year’s Hawks. And between last year’s MVP, Steph Curry, and perennial candidates like LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Kevin Durant (if he’s healthy) and Blake Griffin, he’ll have stiff competition. But it’s not impossible to imagine a world where Wall is in that discussion.