David Falk, the well known agent who used to represent Michael Jordan as a player, is not a John Wall fan. I mean, not at all. In an interview with Mike Wise, Falk (who is a Wizards season ticket holder) says that the team should trade Wall before he becomes Nene. Bradley Beal is the only player he think is worth keeping.
“I’m not down on John Wall,” Falk said, before being further down on John Wall. “I just think people want him to be something he’s never going to be. He’s a big tease. He doesn’t have a good enough feel for the game to be an elite player. I don’t think he’ll ever be the player you think he is.”
He also talks about how John Wall doesn’t have the feel for the game that Magic Johnson had. Wall seems to be a nice young guy, and keeps drawing these ridiculous criticisms. Wall doesn’t have to be Magic Johnson in order for a team not to trade him away. What if he is, say, the next Gary Payton?
Here is a list of other guards who had at least 400 assists at age 21 and 22, were drafted in the top five, and had a win shares per 48 minutes between 0.060 and 0.080.
There is Wall, sandwiched between Gary Payton and Chauncey Billups. Both of those players did mature (remember, Wall is only 22), and were key pieces to very good teams. Payton is a particularly interesting comparison, an adept defender and penetrator who wasn’t necessarily a good outside shooter when he started in the NBA. John Wall is only 1 of 13 from 3 point range this year, after shooting 3 for 42 last year. Payton started 4 of 36 his first two years, and never shot over 30% until age 26.
If Wall can just have a career like Gary Payton, he will be worth keeping around, despite what David Falk might believe. The die is not cast, and the Wizards have been better since Wall returned.
[photo via USA Today Sports Images]