Sports Illustrated's Ben Golliver and Rob Mahoney have been ranking their top-100 players in the NBA this entire week, and John Wall's name happened to surface at number 31 yesterday.
Here's their explanation:
Wall had a 2013-14 season worthy of a No. 1 pick for a Wizards team that reached the second round for the first time in nine years.
Most important, he appeared in all 82 games, ranking fifth in minutes played one year after he was sidelined for nearly half the season. Wall's return helped Washington leap from No. 30 in offensive efficiency in 2012-13 to No. 16, and his pairing with fellow up-and-comer Bradley Beal gives the Wizards one of the league's best backcourts for years to come. The lightning-quick Wall joined fellow All-Stars Chris Paul and Stephen Curry as the only players to average 19 points and eight assists, but his real development came from beyond the arc. Shooting a career-high 35.1 percent from deep and hitting 108 threes hardly makes him a marksman, but remember that Wall was so gun-shy that he had made a total of just 49 over his first three seasons. A better-than-shaky jumper is a game-changer for someone with his handle, elusiveness and skill as a finisher.
That Wall led the league in turnovers remains his biggest need for development, but he attacks defenses with such speed and relentlessness that it's an excusable reality rather than a crisis. The next-level physical tools have always been in place for Wall, meaning that his already high ceiling simply gets that much higher as he continues to refine his all-around game. Two or three more seasons like last year, and Wall just might be a major player in the debate over the league's top point guard.
It didn't take long for Wall to notice:
#31 !!— John Wall (@John_Wall) September 16, 2014
More Motivation, Love it...#wizsquad !!— John Wall (@John_Wall) September 16, 2014
@si_nba no need to be sorry, u made ur decision...Thanks— John Wall (@John_Wall) September 16, 2014
This isn't anything new for Wall. Just last year he was snubbed from ESPN's 'top 25 under 25' list and he's seemingly been underrated by media outlets since entering the league.
But keep in mind, SI is basing these rankings off how these players will perform in the coming season, so while they took stock in what they did last season, a lot of it has to do with their current situations. Kyrie Irving, Damian Lillard, Derrick Rose, Kyle Lowry, and Tony Parker are all notables that are projected ahead of Wall.
Here's where the rest of the Wizards rank:
46. Paul Pierce
58. Marcin Gortat
76. Bradley Beal