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Stan Van Gundy clarifies: John Wall is good, just not a franchise guy

Feb 7, 2013, 12:30 AM EDT

John Wall AP

How many true franchise players are there in the NBA? Guys that right now you could build a franchise around with them as your star and anchor?

In an interview last summer, Bobcats GM Rich Cho said that by his methodology there were less than 10. I think that’s about right — obviously you can build around a LeBron James or Kevin Durant, but make your own lost and when you get down to around 10 you start to think “Dirk Nowtizki is very good when healthy, but he needs someone with him.”

Which brings us to John Wall. Recently Stan Van Gundy said Wall was not a franchise player. Which led a lot of people to pile on Wall as somehow a bust.

But Van Gundy clarified his thoughts speaking to Ben Standig of and sounded like a coach — Wall isn’t a franchise guy but that isn’t really a knock.

“I said this: John Wall is a talented guy, a very good player. I don’t think he’s good enough that you can build a franchise around him,” Van Gundy said after serving as television analyst for George Mason’s home game against Drexel last Thursday night. “I don’t think he can be your best player, certainly not clearly your best player. You need one guy better than him or a couple of guys at his talent level for them to win.

“To me that’s not a negative. I didn’t say it as a negative. I think some people took it that way. I just don’t see John Wall as a franchise player because – a lot like Rajon Rondo; I don’t see him as a franchise player even though he’s an All-Star – he’s not a good enough shooter yet and he’s not a reliable go-to scorer.

“In the NBA, your franchise guy has got to be a guy you can put the ball in his hands late in the game and he can get you a basket. I don’t see that from John Wall at this point in his career. Maybe it will develop, but I don’t see it.”

Of course, all of this spins back to the question Washington faces this summer: “Should the Wizards offer Wall a contract extension this summer?” Or, more directly, for how much? Wall is not a max guy, but what is a fair price and what will Wall consider a fair price?

Washington is clearly better when he is on the court. What is that worth? It’s going to be an interesting summer in Washington.

  1. bobloblaw - Feb 7, 2013 at 1:20 AM

    Lebron James doesn’t need anyone with him? Looks to me like he needs a Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.

  2. progress2011 - Feb 7, 2013 at 2:29 AM

    Insert Crow-Bar…..Attempt to remove foot from mouth !!!

    I enjoy hearing Jeff commentate. He is often spot-on and provides humor at the same time.

    His brother Stan should just be quiet…he’s Jeff’s brother but doesn’t have the same ability to make logical comments and/ or decisions.

    John Wall is a BALLER !!! With the right guidance/ coaching and organizational support to build a team, John has the ability to be a franchise guy. It’s a process.

    Get some help with that crow-bar Stan.

  3. sportsnut101 - Feb 7, 2013 at 2:48 AM

    Maybe if he had the right coach to teach him remember he only played one yr of ball n what 2 yrs now in nba

    Maybe van Grundy should take the Washington job and actually do some coaching n teaching

    I swear the nba thinks the van gundys are like top coaches or something. What did Jeff ever do with his teams no finals if I’m correct n stand one finals with magic they had talented teams wasn’t cuz he was teaching

    Omg imagine a van gundys broadcast team that would earn highest ratings on any nba game.

  4. saint1997 - Feb 7, 2013 at 3:13 AM

    John may not be a franchise player but there is no way the Wiz let him go at all! They could build around a pacers type philosophy with Wall being the kind of Paul G type player and then add some talent around him (Beal, Zeller or Noel in the 2013 draft, a talented 3 in free agency). He is straight up the most physically gifted PG in the league and has a huge ceiling, but you can’t expect a pass first PG to succeed without good players around him!

  5. fanofevilempire - Feb 7, 2013 at 7:06 AM

    Stan is correct, he went thru this with D12.

  6. fanz928 - Feb 7, 2013 at 8:30 AM

    Dwight was good in Orlando and they had a good team until the gm started trading for trash and throwing away pieces

  7. aboogy123456 - Feb 7, 2013 at 8:32 AM

    I disagree with SVG, I think John Wall has the potential to be a great player that can absolutely be a franchise cornerstone. He has athleticism that only a couple of other guys can match: lebron, westbrook. With this athleticism he has potential to be one of the best defenders in the league. His weakness is shooting the ball, but that’s the easiest part of your game to improve.

    I think he will do what it takes to improve his shot and be a franchise player because that’s how he views himself. He’s not the guy that should lead the team in scoring, which is why I love that they picked up beal. If the wizards can get a shot blocker / rebounder type of center, they will have all the pieces in place to improve every year and compete to win the east. They are still very young but this team looks like the thunder before they were making the playoffs.

    • pmpott - Feb 7, 2013 at 9:30 AM

      I’m a Wizards fan and I don’t think Wall is ever going to be a franchise player. Does he have a chance? Of course but I don’t think the chance is very high. I’d say his ceiling is a Russell Westbrook type of player but he’s not even close on the defensive side and he still has a way to go on the offensive end too. Westbrook is more of a sidekick to a franchise player than a franchise player himself, although you’d have a hard time convincing him of that.

  8. unxpexted1 - Feb 7, 2013 at 9:46 AM

    I’m a Wizards fan and I’m not quite on the John Wall bus yet. I think people who dont watch the Wizards regularly are just wowed by his athleticism, but if you watch him game to game you really see his deficiencies as a player, and they dont seem like those worth building a franchise around. Honestly I’ve always viewed him as a great spark off the bench type of player. A team like the Lakers for instance, he could be that youth spark off the bench like Shannon Brown was.

    I will say this.This year he has shown me that without him we are whack, and since he’s came back we have been very competitive even if still losing games. So I do feel he has value. The only thing, when it comes to being a franchise player, is he has no real skill. He’s just an ahtlete. But he’s not polished in any one area. If you hold him to the half court he has no jump shot, when he drives he cant finish, and doesnt see the floor well. Most of the numbers you see, including assist comes mostly from the break. SO, i say this to say, i dont know what skill john wall currently has that you can rely on as a franchise player.

  9. hollywood26 - Feb 7, 2013 at 11:00 AM

    Love John Wall but he’s nowhere near a franchise player. He will however look a lot better with talent around him. He’s a classic point in that he doesn’t score. He’s a better passer than shown with our bum team and that would be accentuated with real scorers. But if I need a bucket at the end he’s about 3rd on the roster now and we arent even that good.

  10. albertmn - Feb 7, 2013 at 11:32 AM

    In my opinion, John Wall’s issue isn’t athleticism, his shot, or any of that. His issue is his attitude and his game smarts. He comes across like one of those guys that thinks something is owed to him just because he is talented, as if he just needs to show up to win and receive accolades. I think he needs to grow up, focus, and work harder in the offseason before he will ever make that big step (if ever).

    That said, I slightly disagree with your definition of franchise player. While I get the general idea, saying someone like Dirk “needs another guy”, is off. They all “need another guy” to win big. LeBron couldn’t do it alone. Kobe can’t do it alone. Durant can’t do it alone. Even Jordan couldn’t do it alone back in the day, as he had Pippen and and various solid guys like Oakley, Grant, Rodman, etc.

    • kinggw - Feb 7, 2013 at 5:24 PM

      I think you’ve never seen him play. Either that or you have him confused with Tyreke Evans. Wall has a great work ethic and is a pretty humble guy.

      His jumper needs work, but people forget that he has played with low talent Wizards teams in his brief career. Unlike Rose, Rondo, and Parker, he didnt come into a situation where there was good talent around him. As a result his growth has taken a bit longer. I dont understand how people can legitimately criticize Wall when he has had nothing around him. This year has been the first that the Wizards had some quality players around him and with Wall on the floor they almost look like a playoff team.

  11. cornbreadbbqred - Feb 7, 2013 at 11:22 PM

    Hey, I saw that play where he packed Melo and Sandwich, went down court, and spent the lunch money he stole with a sweet finish. So tell me, Stan? Now Melo is not a franchise player?


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