The Washington Wizards have built a team around one player over the past few seasons. After selecting point guard John Wall with the number one overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, the Wizards have made it clear that he is the future of the franchise and they have built a team that caters to the way that he plays the game.
With Wall’s rookie contract set to end after the conclusion of the 2013-2014 NBA season, though, the Wizards know it would be unbelievably detrimental to their franchise if they were to somehow lose Wall. Apparently they aren’t going to take any chances of that happening, though.
According to Marc Stein of ESPN, the Wizards and Wall are in “advanced talks” regarding a contract extension for Wall that would ink Wall for five years and pay him somewhere around $80 million. In Stein’s report, his sources told him that Wall and the Wizards seem to be on pace to have a deal finalized by Aug. 1.
It seems pretty clear that Washington is going to be able to lock up Wall in the next couple of weeks, but they absolutely have to do so before Oct. 31 if they want to avoid Wall becoming a restricted free-agent next summer.
Wall missed a little less than half of the 2012-2013 season because of injury and played in only 49 games. However, the Wizards won just four games out of their first 32, but went 25-25 over their last 50 which is largely due to the impact of Wall in the 49 games that he played. He averaged 18.5 points, 7.6 assists, four rebounds and 1.3 steals in 32.7 minutes per game.
Not only is Wall capable of making plays by himself, but his fast and attacking style of play really compliment the rest of the Wizard’s roster. Bradley Beal is better with Wall on the floor and it’s not hard to imagine rookie Otto Porter complimenting Wall as well.
In the end, it would be nice to see Wall stay healthy for another season before locking him up, but it’s also a chance that the Wizards can’t really afford to take. They look like a team that could potentially make the postseason next year and in years to come and that’s because of Wall. Signing him to this extension is the best move for them and will, hopefully for Washington’s sake, turn the fortunes of the franchise around.