John Wall was the obvious #1 pick in the 2010 draft. The Washington Wizards were lucky enough to win the draft lottery to grab him. Alas a franchise player to build their team around. However, not everyone believes this. Stan Van Gundy (former Orlando Magic head coach) believes Wall is not the franchise player that the Wizards hoped to get when he was drafted. As said in his article on Jan 2, 2013, Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post writes as per Stan Van Gundy:
“You know, I don’t see it, to be honest,” Van Gundy said. “I’d love to tell you you’re two years away; I really don’t [see it]. That roster doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. I know they’ll be better when John Wall comes back. He’s certainly got talent, but I don’t know that even John Wall is a great player to build your franchise around. I don’t know WHO you’re building around, so it’s tough to even think about what the construction of your team is. That’s just a bad basketball team.”
Enter Gary Payton, former franchise point guard of the now defunct Seattle Supersonics. In an interview with Pro Basketball Talk, he stated that John Wall reminds him of well himself. Payton admits that John Wall has reached out to him with similar struggles faced by Payton early on in his career. @Wizards_Extreme (on twitter), reported that Gary Payton plans to work with John Wall over the summer to “improve his game.” Also reports that Payton’s thoughts on John Wall not being a franchise player are “bogus.”
Most players take time to establish themselves in the league, everyone seems to forgot John Wall is only in his 3rd season and playing for an organization that was below rock bottom when he was drafted. Wall is already several years ahead of Payton in most offensive stats, but with maturity he could exceed Payton. If Gary Payton’s opinion and career numbers are any indication on what John Wall can become, the Washington Wizards have a bright future ahead of them.
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