clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Who makes the Wizards’ future brighter?

NBA: Portland Trail Blazers at Washington Wizards Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

When people think of the Wizards they think John Wall and Bradley Beal. If you want to spread the phrase Ball Bros, don’t forget where you saw it first. But who is more important to the success of the Wizards moving forward?

The knee jerk reaction is John Wall. He’s the heart and soul of the team. He’s averaging career highs in almost every major category. When he goes, the Wizards go.

But then there’s Beal, the quiet killer. In January he’s averaging 21.9 points per game, the best per game average on the team, and ahead of players like Damian Lillard, Paul George, and Klay Thompson. When healthy, he can absolutely take over games and be an unstoppable force. Beal is also almost three years younger, has two extra years on his contract, and plays a position where elite talent is more scarce than the point guard position.

As the stickiest player on the team, the ball is in Wall’s hands 5.79 seconds per touch, which can sometimes feel like an eternity. Not surprisingly he leads the team in assists with 10.1 assists per game. On the other hand, Beal only averages 2.79 seconds per touch. With that in mind, Beal averages .428 points per touch while the possession-heavy Wall averages .252 points per touch. Sure this can be attributed to the simple nature of being a point guard versus shooting guard, but it’s an interesting place to start the discussion.

When looking at pure scoring, Wall and Beal average a practically identical 23.1 and 21.8 points per game respectively, but Beal’s effective field goal percentage is 4.5 percent higher than Wall’s thanks to his outside shooting touch. They are two very different scorers that impact the game in very different ways.

Looking back at what the Wizards had to sacrifice for each player, the debate continues. John Wall was the number one overall pick in the 2010 draft. That top pick was followed by the likes of Evan Turner, Derrick Favors, and Wesley Johnson, overall a win for the Wizards. Bradley Beal was the third overall pick in the 2012 draft, followed by names like Dion Waiters, Thomas Robinson, Damian Lillard. Comparatively, both were gems in seriously wacky NBA draft classes.

When looking at the ever-elusive ESPN Real Plus-Minus rating, Wall is attributed with adding an overall 5.19 wins to the Wizards’ record due to his presence. This is compared to a respectable 3.78 wins due to Beal’s presence. This statistic takes into account the overall impact on both the offensive and defensive halves and is used by stats guys to confuse us common folk; don’t sweat it.

For us normal folk, we watch clips.

Wall can do things like this:

...and this:

Beal, on the other hand, can absolutely fill it up:

In the end, does it really matter which player is more important? The Wizards are 23-19 with a lineup that would crumble without either of these pillars. I’ll leave you with one area we can all agree doesn’t have much competition… yet:

What does Phone Booth Nation think?