Each year, the NBA surveys the top decision maker for every team in the NBA before the start of the season to get a sense of where they think things stand in the league before the season begins. As you’d probably expect, the Wizards didn’t come up a lot in this year’s survey, since most questions are focused on which teams will compete for titles and which rookies will emerge as stars.
That said, one area you’d expect John Wall to get mentioned is in the discussion of “Which player is the best passer?” Chris Paul led the way with 62.1 percent of the vote, which is understandable given his track record over the years, and LeBron James came in second with 20.7 percent. But after that you’d figure Wall, who has finished top-three in assists per game in each of the last three seasons, and has posted more assists than anyone not named Chris Paul over the past six seasons, would be right in the discussion for third or fourth.
That didn’t happen. The remaining votes went to Ricky Rubio, Rajon Rondo, and Ben Simmons. Wall didn’t get a single vote among the 29 GMs who could cast a vote (GMs are not allowed to vote for their own teams or players in the survey, so Grunfeld could not cast a vote for Wall).
Sadly, this is not the first time Wall has been shut out when GMs were asked who the best passer in the NBA is. He got no votes in 2015, he got no votes in 2014, he got no votes in 2013 (WHEN GREIVIS VASQUEZ AND DION WAITERS GOT VOTES), he got no votes in 2012, he got no votes in 2011, and you can bet he didn’t get a vote in 2010, because what GM in their right mind would say a rookie is the best passer in the league before they play a single game, other than the one that just voted for Ben Simmons this year?
Clearly, there’s just something with the way Wall racks up his assists and helps make players into better shooters that just doesn’t resonate with the league’s general managers. On the bright side, 40 percent of the league’s GMs still think he’s the fastest player in the league with the ball in his hands, so they still respect his speed, just not his vision. Hopefully Wall can use that to his advantage this season.