Can Wall become an All-Star?

Can Wall become an All-Star?
September 24, 2013, 8:30 pm
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The Wizards are set to open training camp on September 28 with the 2013-14 season tipping off a month later. Over the next few days, J. Michael and Ben Standig will examine several notable topics heading into camp, including... 

Countdown to tip-off question 2: Will John Wall make the All Star team?

J. Michael: It's possible  but still a long shot given his competition. Cracking that glass ceiling depends on winning and name recognition. So, my guess is Wall probably is a year away. 

All-Star voting is a fan popularity contest for the starters, and that puts Wall at a disadvantage because the Wizards only play in one national TV game on Feb. 7 (ESPN). That alone puts Derrick Rose (Bulls), who is returning to full health after missing all of last season because of knee surgery, above all regardless of how he actually performs. 

Rajon Rondo (Celtics) won't start the season because of knee surgery and Deron Williams (Nets) has been in the playoffs more often than not. That gives them all a leg up on Wall, though he has career averages that are comparable to Williams. 

Wall's best shot would be to be voted in as a reserve, as selected by GMs and coaches. Kyrie Irving, chosen No. 1 overall in 2011 by the Cavaliers the year after Wall was taken in the same spot, was a reserve last season despite playing for a losing team that ended with fewer wins than the Wizards. Wall is a better defender and distributor but Irving's offense is what makes him more noticeable. Given Irving's issues with staying healthy, however, that could give Wall another edge. 

Plus, both players were injured each time their teams played last season. Wall must show head-to-head he's the better player, and that one national TV game the Wizards play is vs. the Irving. The All-Star game in New Orleans is less than two weeks later. 

Ben Standig: Earlier this week I examined a ranked list of NBA players, specifically where John Wall fit among the league's point guard elite. In terms of those in the East, he came in fifth behind Derrick Rose, Kyrie Irving, Deron Williams and Rajon Rondo. 

In this 2013-14 All-Star context, forget Rondo. The Celtics remaining stud opens the season on the shelf because of a knee injury.

After a year away from the NBA on-court spotlight because of a knee injury, the popular Rose is an All-Star lock, probably as a starter via the fan vote. 

If Irving can stay healthy - for once - and his starry trajectory continues pointing north, consider the Cavs star lock number two. 

As for Williams, his résumé alone makes him tough to catch, not to mention his high profile job running the Nets offense. Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett are now in Brooklyn not to mention Brook Lopez and Joe Johnson. No more than three Nets will make the All-Star team and that's the high-end figure, meaning it's possible Williams' own teammates take his spot, that is assuming this year's All-Star roster includes three point guards (but it probably will).

Behind these five, players like Brandon Jennings, Jeff Teague or Raymond Felton could enter the fray but it would take a Lin-sanity level hype job to surpass the others.

From his max contract to A-List events, Wall certainly got his name out there this summer. During the upcoming season, the Wizards won't have the National TV spotlight compared to others. In what's largely a popularity contest, that won't help Wall's chances. 

There is another factor: all the other point guards are really, really good. Even if Wall is better, he still might not make it. If he picks up where he left off last season, the voters might not have any choice but to include him. At the very least, he'd be higher on next year's rankings.

Question 1: Do the Wizards needs to make a move before the start of the regular season?