NBA Draft, 2010: The Wizards Should Trade John Wall
Why do I believe that?
Well, I could go into my discussion on why the point guard position isn’t as important, position-wise, as everyone makes it out to be, but you can watch that here.
Instead, I want to point out how valuable Gilbert Arenas is; both talent and fiscally speaking, and the Wizards need not limit Arenas’ role as the point guard of the team.
Gilbert Arenas is no slouch. Far be it from me to say he’s back to being the player he was prior to the knee injury and surgeries, but from what I saw during his brief stint in the league this season, he’s pretty damn close.
In just 32 games, Arenas averaged 22.6 points, 7.2 assists and 4.2 rebounds. Far be it from me to compare Arenas to the likes of Rajon Rondo, but I’m going to go ahead and compare him to Rajon Rondo. Clearly, Rondo is God compared to Arenas on the defensive end, but on the offensive end, Arenas historically and in his 32 games this season, has more value offensively than Rondo had during the regular season.
Rondo averaged 13.7 ppg, 9.8 apg and 4.4 rpg during the past 2009-2010 season. With the averages I just mentioned for Arenas, the only thing Rondo beats Arenas at is passing the rock, but Gilbert’s 9-point advantage in the scoring category more than makes up for his 2.5 deficit in the assist category. Not to mention, Gilbert shoots the ball way better, especially from 3-point land, where for a guy who creates his own shot, his 35% three-point percentage is very impressive.
Before you get all upset with the fact that I’m using facts to compare Arenas to Rondo, don’t forget, I already said Rondo is the better player when you account for defense. And I’m not dumb, I see what Rondo is doing in the playoffs, albeit against point guards that haven’t really stood up to the challenge of facing him.
Still, the argument for Arenas as a bona fide NBA player that has returned to some semblance of what he used to be is valid. Arenas will likely be even healthier when he returns this fall, and who knows what his numbers will look like then?
That brings me back to the 2010 NBA Draft. While I don’t agree with the notion that John Wall will be the most pivotal player to come out of this draft, I recognize he is the player with the most perceived value and thus the Wizards have no option but to draft him. But that doesn’t mean the Wizards have to keep Wall on their team, and it is my suggestion that they don’t. They need to trade Wall, get another proven player in the NBA, and try to make a good year out the 2010-2011 regular season. I know everyone and their momma believes that Wall is the future and the greatest thing since sliced bread. But as of this point and time, there’s no sign that he’ll ever be a Gilbert Arenas, and even if he does reach the heights of Arenas, that doesn’t mean trading him for another player, at another position, isn’t the right thing to do.
Of course, there is the option of playing Wall alongside Arenas, but it’s an option I wholeheartedly disagree with. Yes, Arenas is a shoot-first guard, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t a point guard. People have to get rid of this notion that just because a guy looks for his shot more often than he looks for the shots of others eliminates said player from being a point guard. Nothing could be further from the truth.
A true point guard looks for the best opportunity for his team to score. That means if a point guard has the clearest mismatch on the offensive end, and Arenas usually does, then he should look for his shot before he looks for anyone else’s shot. While there is some justification to the notion that getting teammates involved, even when it’s not completely necessary, can help a team’s morale and benefit the team in the long run, it doesn’t outweigh the most essential aspect of basketball, which is getting the best shot possible.
Besides—Arenas has averaged 5 or more assists in every full season of his NBA career, and he average more than 7 assists last season. So he does get others involved, and it’s not his fault that he’s the best scorer on his team—although, I will admit he’d still probably try to score even if he had a better scorer on his team.
At the end of the day, Arenas is better than Wall right now. And he just might be better than Wall over the next 5 seasons, because we have no idea how good Wall will be. You’re talking about a guy that wasn’t nearly as good some of his point guard predecessors were in college, and yet everyone thinks he’s THAT guy. I don’t. But once again, even if I’m wrong, trading him for another proven NBA player could still be a good move, and it’s the move I would explore if I were in charge of the Wizards.
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