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Morning tip: John Wall should've been All-NBA 2nd team over Celtics' Isaiah Thomas

Morning tip: John Wall should've been All-NBA 2nd team over Celtics' Isaiah Thomas

Now that John Wall is finally All-NBA for the first time in his career, it's difficult to find any reason to complain about him being recognized among the top 15 players in the league. He made third team -- ahead of the likes of Kyle Lowry, Kyrie Irving, Chris Paul, Goran Dragic  and Damian Lillard who have appeared before him-- but behind second-team selection Isaiah Thomas.

On the surface, it's splitting hairs. So what? At least Wall fulfilled one of his goals after a 49-win season and getting the Wizards to Game 7 of the conference semifinals.

But he'll surely find exta motivation because even though he has begun to earn more respect on a national scale, he won't feel it was enough after averaging career highs in points (23.1), assists (10.7), steals (2.0) and field-goal accuracy (45.1%). 

There'll always be these kind of hot takes from those who spoke ill of him from Day One and then continaully move the goalposts to justify their initial flawed judgments. When you actually put Wall in the same breath as Kendall Marshall, who was so bad that the No. 13 draft pick was jettisoned after one year by the Phoenix Suns which is unheard of, you should give yourself 20 lashes every time you utter his name:

So to compensate for this, every time Wall doesn't lead his team to the NBA championship -- like 29 other starting point guards in the NBA -- he'll be ridiculed. It's the Colin Cowherd heads I win/tails you lose logic. Trolling under the guise of analysis.

Wall jumps on the scorer's table after hitting the Game 6 winner over the Boston Celtics and he's foolish. Thomas screams, "You can't f--- with a killer" after winning a regular season game over the Wizards and throws hand signs, what does that make him?

Like Wall, it's player who is caught up on emotion of the moment. It means or proves nothing. Thomas was fined for threatening to beat up a fan at Verizon Center after a playoff loss. What will that have to do with anything in analyzing him as a player? It this were Wall, of course, such an incident would be mentioned every single time and used to question his upbringing and character. 

Thomas' team was marginally better than Washington. They were better defensively as a team to hide Thomas' shortcomings. Their role players were better than a Wizards bench that produced five total points in Game 7. Boston didn't win the series because Thomas outplayed Wall. Kelly Olynyk turned into 2011 Dirk Nowitzki. That wasn't Wall's cover, but blame him for it all anyway. Usually the team that has a bench that scores 48 points will win. 

What should be ridiculed until the end of time is thinking Marshall, who couldn't stay in front of a stop sign on defense and obviously lacked NBA athleticism, was T.J. McConnell's peer much less Wall's (Sorry Kendall, though I really don't like the Tar Heels this isn't personal. I didn't invoke your name. You're just collateral damage).

I wasn't sure when Wall was taken No. 1 overall in 2010 if he could be this good. But I also had no first-hand knowledge of his work ethic. At that time, it was all about "if" he works hard, "if" he's committed, "if" he's coachable. That's true about a lot  of draft picks who aren't even legal drinking age when they turn pro. There's no way to project if a million dollars will make them work harder or relax.

I voted Wall for the second team on my official ballot. Thomas was my third-team selection. Both worked incredibly hard to get there because they were raw when they entered the league.

All-NBA is a regular-season award. That Thomas' Celtics eliminated the Wizards isn't relevant. The voting was submitted by the panel of 100 during the final week of the regular season. 

[RELATED: All-NBA great for Wall, his future in D.C., but he wants more]

Thomas averaged 28.9 points (almost six more than Wall), 5.9 assists (about five fewer), 0.9 steals (one fewer), shot 46.3% overall (one percent better) and 37.9% from three-point range (five percent better).

Thomas is better in some areas, but not as good in others. It's no slam-dunk that Thomas should be elevated above Wall unless team wins (53 vs. 49)  is the trump card. If that's your standard for All-NBA, then Anthony Davis shouldn't be first-team with 34 wins and Giannis Antetokounmpo shoulnd't be second team with 42 wins. There are players at their positions who didn't make All-NBA with far more victories.

When it's the fourth quarter and crunch time, what happens on the defensive end? Does Thomas stay on the floor? No. Brad Stevens will sub him in and out. 

Why? Because opposing coaches target him and Boston knows he's a major liability.

When a game starts, does Thomas defend Wall, Irving, Lowry, Paul, Lillard or any of the other elite point guards or is he hidden on weaker offensive players while Avery Bradley gets the lion's share of that workload?

Wall's individual defense has been hit and miss to start the season because he was coming off double knee surgery. In the playoffs, he was beaten by falling asleep off the ball in key moments and the Wizards just weren't as sharp at switching.

But at 6-4, there are shots that won't reach the rim because of him. The defense he played on Irving in their win in Cleveland and in their OT loss at home to the Cavs could never be duplicated by Thomas. Neither can the chasedown blocks.

It's no fault of Thomas that he's undersized at 5-9. How can anyone root against the Little Engine That Could? If you're grading on a curve there's a case for him being first team, but that's not what All-NBA is. 

This isn't 2015 when Irving was voted ahead of Wall, who missed All-NBA and was more deserving then, just because he played with LeBron James and was on the better team.  

Paul had a down season because of injuries, but he's as close to flawless as a point guard can get because he does everything well and his assist-to-turnover ratio is so impressive that it's downright sickening.

But if you look for reasons to downgrade Wall at every turn, and opine with a smugness that those who see Wall as a star are wrong, just look at the results for people who actually watch the league. I think he was one rung too low and still doesn't get the benefit of the doubt while others like Thomas will, but Wall was listed on 87 of the 100 ballots.

In a year where there was an obsession over triple-doubles of James Harden and Russell Westbrook in the banter over who is the MVP, how many double-doubles did Wall have in comparision to Thomas? 

He had 50. That's while defending better players, not being able to hide or rest to save himself for the fourth quarter and creating for others, too. That's not D.C. media favortism. It's the truth which is allergic to the hot take kings of the sports world.

That's 45 more double-doubles than Thomas. That's 20 double-doubles more than the four point guards -- Thomas, Lowry, Irving and Kemba Walker -- who made the East All-Star team this year combined.  

No matter what team he's chosen for All-NBA, Wall is the best point guard in the East. He's must-see TV. He's a star. How big of a star is up for debate but he's on the rise.

Even Kendall Marshall can see that.

[RELATED: Insider J. Michael reveals his official All-NBA ballot]

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Timeline to create Wizards' G-League team and practice facility becoming more clear

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Timeline to create Wizards' G-League team and practice facility becoming more clear

The Wizards' G-League team will not play it's first game until the fall of 2018, but its creation process is well underway and later this year should be kicked into another gear.

For now, it's all about constructing the team's arena in Ward 8 of Southeast Washington. The G-League team will ultimately practice and play their games there and so will the WNBA's Mystics. The Wizards will use it as their practice facility.

It's a multipurpose project and, as majority owner Ted Leonsis explained, they have broken ground but have lots of work to do.

"The big issue is will the building be ready. We stood up Kettler [Capitals Iceplex], we did our deal in Hershey, we built the team all during the lockout. That really worked. The goal was to get the Wizards practice facility and arena built in Ward 8," he said. "They've broken ground. You should drive by there one day. There's a hole in the ground and they're building. My goal is to just have the thing stood up and have people go 'wow.' The community can feel great about itself. Maybe we can get some restaurants around there or a little shopping so that that area really fast starts to resemble [Chinatown]."

[RELATED: John Wall's new contract makes Wizards' future clear]

Leonsis said he expects information about the new G-League team's name and branding will be released this fall. He mentioned three months, which would mean October.

Soon after that we could learn of staff additions. The G-League team will have a whole new staff from the front office to coaching to public relations. 

Team president Ernie Grunfeld expects some people to be added by the start of 2018.

"We're gonna have to put some additions on sometime this year just to get people ready so they know our system and they're in place so it's not going to be a shock to their system of what we're trying to do," he said. 

[RELATED: Wall and Wizards' union is a display of commitment rarely seen]

The Wizards will have two players on two-way contracts this season in Michael Young and Devin Robinson. They will spend the majority of their time in the G-League with the allowance of 45 days maximum at the NBA level. Grunfeld said the Wizards expect to use multiple G-League teams this season until they have their own. Last season they used several such as the Delaware 87ers and Northern Arizona Suns.

The G-League coaching staff will essentially be an extension of Wizards head coach Scott Brooks' group and he expects to work closely with the G-League team once it is fully assembled.

"I'm going to be able to go there quite a bit on off-days or off-nights. If they have a game, I can go there and vice versa, they can come here." he said. 

"It's another commitment from our ownership group. It's important to develop your own players. It's going to be nice to be in our own city so that we can integrate the G-League staff and the players with us. I had a situation in my other job, with the other team I was with, and you utilize it."

[RELATED: NBA reacts to John Wall's new contract]

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John Wall's new contract makes Wizards' future clear in terms of salaries and personnel

John Wall's new contract makes Wizards' future clear in terms of salaries and personnel

With a four-year extension that runs through the 2022-23 season, the Wizards and John Wall have hitched their wagons for the longhaul. Wall has committed to playing in Washington through his Age 32 season. Now that he is firmly in place, the Wizards' future in terms of salaries and personnel is quite clear.

Wall, who turns 27 in September, will be there through 2023. Bradley Beal and Otto Porter, who each turned 24 last month, are under contract through 2020-21 with Porter's final season including a player option.

The Wizards have almost $100 million committed for that 2020-21 season, meaning they are tightly locked in with Wall, Beal and Porter leading the charge. Center Ian Mahinmi is the only other Wizards player with a contract beyond 2018-19.

Washington is in a good spot given Wall, Beal and Porter are all young and still improving. They will reach their ceiling as a trio at some point, but even after winning 49 games and their division this past season, it doesn't seem like they are there quite yet. All three could conceivably make another significant leap. If any combination of them do, the Wizards' will be sitting pretty.

[RELATED: NBA reacts to John Wall's new contract]

Wall is probably closer to reaching his peak than the other two given he is further along in his career and already a perennial All-Star and All-NBA selection. The question regarding him may be how his game will age over the course of this contract which now runs six more years.

Wall shared some insight into how he hopes his game develops over the next several years in an interview with NBATV during a Wizards' Summer League game. He mentioned improving his post-up game as a big guard and also his three-point shot. Wall pointed to Jason Kidd, who found new life later in his career as a consistent three-point shooter.

Following Kidd's lead is perfect for Wall. Kidd was a very similar point guard at Wall's age. At 6-4 and with incomparable speed, he overmatched many of his opponents with pure physical superiority. Like Wall, Kidd was a pass-first guard but could score plenty without being a major threat from three. 

[RELATED: Wall and Wizards' union is a display of commitment rarely seen]

But later in his career, Kidd developed an outside shot and it helped him play until he was 39. Kidd was still making All-Star teams as late as 36.

Wall just completed his Age 26 season and through seven years in the NBA he's shot 32.1 percent from three on 2.7 attempts per game. At the same age, Kidd had shot 32.7 percent from three on 3.2 attempts per game. That is almost identical.

Kidd actually didn't truly hit his stride from three until his mid-30s, once he wasn't the fastest anymore and he needed to expand his game. From age 34 through 39, Kidd shot 37.8 percent from beyond the arc including over 40 percent in 2008-09 and 2009-10 at 35- and 36-years-old, respectively.

By the time Kidd was done, he was one of the top three-point shooters of all-time. He currently ranks eighth in NBA history with 1,988 career threes.

We don't know exactly how Wall's game will progress over the next few years. What we do know is that it will be in Washington and with Beal and Porter as his running mates.

[RELATED: Wizards are building something special in Eastern Conference]