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John Wall, Bradley Beal, and Markieff Morris make Washington Post’s Top 100 NBA player list

It’s not surprising to see them make the list. But it’s surprising that none were projected to be on an upward trajectory.

NBA: Washington Wizards at Minnesota Timberwolves Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Tim Bontemps of The Washington Post released his list of the NBA’s Top 100 players on Thursday. Bontemps ranked his list based on “overall talent level,” but the infographic also is sortable based on a number of metrics such as salary and age. He even added a trend line for each player based on whether his performance was expected to improve, decline, or stay consistent.

In the list, three Wizards made the list. John Wall was 22nd, Bradley Beal was 48th, and Markieff Morris was 91st. Wall was ranked lower in this list than in Sports Illustrated where he was 17th. Beal received a higher ranking than his SI ranking of 62nd, and Morris did not make SI’s. Meanwhile, Marcin Gortat and Ian Mahinmi were not named to Bontemps’ Top 100 though they were ranked 63rd and 76th respectively in Sports Illustrated.

Overall, Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James, and Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry and forward Kevin Durant were the top three players in that order.

Here are some takeaways from this list, based around the Wizards who made the list.

  • Though Wall, Beal, and Morris are far from being past their primes, Bontemps expected all three to remain consistent compared with last season. And that raises my eyebrows because I fully expect them to improve this season. This implies that they are close to peaking...
  • Wall was the first overall pick in the 2010 Draft, but he was behind Pacers swingman Paul George (10th) and Kings center DeMarcus Cousins (12th). It’s fair to say that they are better overall players. But I don’t agree that both project to improve while Wall stays stagnant. On that note, DeAndre Jordan, the 23rd ranked player is projected to improve too and he is already 28...
  • Wall was ranked 7th among NBA point guards. He was behind Curry (3rd), Russell Westbrook (Thunder - 5th), Chris Paul (Clippers - 6th), Kyle Lowry (Raptors - 14th), Kyrie Irving (Cavaliers - 19th), and Damian Lillard (Trail Blazers - 20th). It’s safe to say that Curry, Westbrook, and Paul would be ranked higher than Wall on Top NBA point guard lists, but he’s ranked behind several players Lowry, Irving, and Lillard.
  • If you want to add “insult” to injury to the point guard list, Irving and Lillard were projected to improve this season while Wall remains consistent. Really?
  • Beal received a generous ranking and perhaps he could be ranked higher next year. If you are wondering whether he would have truly been the 12th man on the USA Basketball men’s national team if he chose to accept their invitation, he did rank higher than Harrison Barnes, who was 59th.
  • I am surprised that Marcin Gortat in particular did NOT make the list. He had a strong 2015-16 season statistically yet didn’t make the list. Maybe he just missed the cut?

Overall, I think the rankings in and of themselves were fair though I think Gortat should have been on this list as well. And I’m a bit surprised that neither Wall, Beal, or Morris are projected to improve. If they truly don’t improve this season, then the Wizards are in BIG trouble and it would also be a damnation on Scott Brooks’ ability to develop his players.

Hopefully this trajectory is just based on stats alone, and let’s hope that all the Wizards’ players improve this season, both individually and as a collective unit.