Ranking the Best Wizards Bench Players from the John Wall Era | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

Ranking the Best Wizards Bench Players from the John Wall Era

Updated: November 15, 2016

In a world where Marcin Gortat has called his team’s bench “the worst” in the league (right now), the challenge has been posed (by TAI’s Conor Dirks) to rank the best Wizards bench players from the John Wall era.

Without thinking too much, I threw out some names and prematurely arrived here: 1) Trevor Booker, 2) Tomas Satoransky, 3) Garrett Temple, 4) Ramon Sessions, 5) Martell Webster, and 6) Andre Miller. Very unofficial.

But then I got to considering: how can we solve this with data? To the Basketball-Reference.com machine!

First, let’s choose an advanced standard or two by which to measure—let’s go with the enduring Player Efficiency Rating (PER) and Box Plus/Minus (BPR, an estimate of the points per 100 possession a player contributed above a league-average player).

Second, let’s choose criteria—and we might have to skin this cat two ways: best bench players over a single season, versus best bench players over all combined seasons since Wall’s 2010-11 rookie season. And to qualify for either list, a player’s total games would have to be greater than or equal to two times their number of starts.

So, for example, Trevor Ariza’s first season in Washington (2012-13) would qualify for the single season list since he played in 56 games but only started 15. But since he played in 77 games the next season, starting all of them, his combined two seasons with the Wizards would not qualify for the cumulative list. (In other words: Too many starts, not enough overall run with the second unit.)

And in terms of minutes requirement (500 for a single season, 1,000 combined), apologies would be issued to James Singleton, J.J. Hickson, Gary Neal, and Alan Anderson—none of you actually counted (even though A.A. was a helluva bench cheerleader in a suit).

Best Single Season Wizards Bench Player (according to BPM):

  1. Trevor Ariza (2012-13) +1.5
  2. Garrett Temple (2014-15) +0.8
  3. Nene (2015-16) +0.2
  4. Trevor Booker (2012-13) +0.1
  5. Martell Webster (2013-14) -0.1
  6. Jan Vesely (2011-12) -0.2
  7. Otto Porter (2014-15) -0.4
  8. Trevor Booker (2010-11) -0.7
  9. Jordan Crawford (2012-13) -0.9
  10. Ramon Sessions (2014-15) -1.0

It takes you all the way until No. 5 to get to someone who had a negative impact (Webster), and OH MY GOD JAN VESELY IS RANKED SIXTH.

We get quite the different list if we use PER as our standard measure:

  1. Nene (2015-16) 16.8
  2. Ramon Sessions (2015-16) 15.9
  3. Kevin Seraphin (2011-12) 15.8
  4. Kris Humphries (2014-15) 15.4
  5. Trevor Booker (2010-11) 15.3
  6. Jordan Crawford (2012-13) 14.7
  7. Ramon Sessions (2014-15) 14.7
  8. Jordan Crawford (2011-12) 14.5
  9. Andre Miller (2014-15) 14.3
  10. Trevor Ariza (2012-13) 14.0

Ariza goes from the top of the list for BPM to the bottom of the top 10 for PER. And would you just look at Jordan Crawford?

Now let’s review best bench player over combined seasons, according to BPM:

  1. Otto Porter +0.6
  2. Martell Webster +0.2
  3. Trevor Booker 0.0
  4. Jan Vesely -1.0
  5. Garrett Temple -1.1
  6. Ramon Sessions -1.6
  7. Rasual Butler -1.7
  8. A.J. Price -1.8
  9. Kris Humphries -1.9
  10. Jordan Crawford, Drew Gooden -2.1 (t)

For one, this tells us terrible things, like all those negative numbers. It should also be noted that Porter, top of this chart, was drafted to groom him into a full time starter, which he now is–kind of disqualifies him from the big picture.

And for a little bang-for-the-buck perspective, let’s use Win Shares per 48 Minutes. The rankings:

  1. Andre Miller .127
  2. Trevor Booker .123
  3. Kris Humphries .119
  4. Martell Webster .116
  5. Ramon Sessions .113
  6. Otto Porter .106
  7. Drew Gooden .095
  8. Rasual Butler .984
  9. A.J. Price 0.84
  10. Jan Vesely 0.74

To conclude: Yes, Tomas Satoransky, even if he doesn’t qualify, probably would already rank on any of these lists. And yes, it’s a sad state of affairs when Vesely, 2011’s sixth overall pick who played just 141 games with the franchise, ranks as one of the top bench players during the Wall era.

Thanks for stopping by and have a safe trip home.


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Kyle Weidie
Founder / Editor / Reporter / Writer at TAI
Kyle founded TAI in 2007 and has been weaving in and out the world of Wizards ever since, ducking WittmanFaces, jumping over G-Wiz, and avoiding stints on the DNP-Conditioning list. He has covered the Washington pro basketball team as a member of the media since 2009. Kyle currently lives in Brooklyn, NY with his wife, loves basketball, and has no pets.