John Wall has never lacked for confidence.
Wall has developed into one of the best point guards in the NBA, lightning fast with the ball and a quality defender. Wall probably think that sells him short, just like when he finally made the All-NBA team last season and thought being on the third team was him being disrespected. So it should be no shock that when asked during his workout with LeBron James this summer Wall said he was the best two-way point guard in the NBA.
Did anyone expect Wall to say anything less?
As I’ve written before, I’m not a fan of the term “two-way player” because of what it implies. Most of the time “two-way” is used to knock down more offensive-focused players. To me, you’re either a valuable player or you’re not — James Harden is a valuable player, Russell Westbrook is a valuable player, irrespective of their level of defense.
If you want to have this debate, I think Stephen Curry, Russell Westbrook, and Chris Paul are more valuable and better point guards than Wall (and all three were in front of him on my All-NBA ballot last season, I had Isaiah Thomas and Wall on the third team). And that’s not an insult to Wall, we are talking about the very elite of the game, and all three of those other guys look headed to the Hall of Fame. Wall has risen to be elite in a golden era of NBA point guards, although his defense took a slight step back as he took on more offensive load last season (which is normal). Also, his three-point shooting, while improved, holds him back a little and he still takes to too many long twos (23.8 percent of his shot attempts last season were from 16 feet to the arc, and he shot 38.9 percent on those, opposing teams will take that compared to how dangerous he is when he drives).
If Wall wants to use all this for fuel, go for it. He’s a great player, and many of the great players use perceived insults and straw men as motivation. With the Wizards needing internal improvement on their roster to take a step forward this season, even more will be asked of Wall.