Perhaps it's the constant talk about John Wall's youth or that the All-Star point guard's game still has room to grow that we forget he's been in the NBA for than a minute. Hard to believe, but the former No. 1 overall pick in the 2011 Draft is entering his sixth season with the Washington Wizards. Time flies faster than a Wall-fueled fast break.
It's not just that he's been around, but it's where Wall already ranks among the best in franchise history. No, we're not hanging jersey's in the rafters or comparing his legacy to those of "The Big E" or Wes. The debate between Wall and Gilbert Arenas, the man he replaced as face of the franchise, that's certainly an interesting debate for another day. But let's talk pure stats. CSN's Chris Miller posted this tweet Wednesday night.
By seasons end @JohnWall could become the franchises all time leading assists man. Just food for thought https://t.co/H7hICD8CJp
— Chris Miller (@cmillscsn) August 27, 2015
After five seasons, Wall already ranks second in Bullets/Wizards history with 2,990 assists. According to BasketballReference.com, that's more than Agent Zero and Phil Chenier, more than Earl "The Pearl" Monroe and Bobby Dandridge, more than Kevin Porter or Rod Strickland (2,712), who Wall surpassed for second last season. Only Unseld (3,822), a deft passer - and not just for a big man - leads Wall at this point. For those wondering, Unseld did not receive bonus assists for those amazing full-court outlet passes, though it would have been cool if he did.
Wall needs 833 to take over the top spot. If that sounds like a lot, it is.
Since the 2010-11 season, only one player (Chris Paul) reached that number. Paul led the NBA with 838 last season. Wall came in second with a career-high 792 over 79 games.
Do that math and that's 10 assists per contest. In other words, if Wall played all 82 games and maintained his season average, he would have finished with 822.
This should be a fun stat to track over the course of the season, especially if Wall starts ripping off 12 or more night early on. For the sake of the team goals - yes, we're talking playoffs - having Wall play all 82 games isn't the way to go. Having him sit even a handful of games probably takes 833 off the table. Then again, let's not discount what some extra incentive can do for the kid from Raleigh.