The Washington Wizards are aiming to be one of the better stories of this past offseason as they head into the 2013 campaign with an improved and soon-to-be healthy roster. For the first three years of the career of young point guard John Wall, the Wizards have been more of a laughing stock than a competitive team.
With Wall and Bradley Beal healthy by the season’s start, combined with rookie Otto Porter Jr., the Wizards will have quite a young and athletic back court that could make some noise in the Eastern Conference.
Recently, the Wizards have been discussing a long-term contract extension that would exceed $80 million over the length of five years. Wall has been known to be seeking a max contract and could find himself getting just that very soon.
Here’s the problem I have with the situation though: Wall’s play over the first three years is not deserving of a max deal. Is he a great player? Absolutely. But, is he a max contract-type player? Absolutely not.
Over his first three seasons, Wall has yet to play a full 82 games. Heck, he hasn’t even played 70 games yet. Health is definitely an issue and he’s been known to get banged up a bit.
Secondly, Wall is a career 42 percent shooter. While that’s not terrible, it should be much higher especially with the volume of shots he puts up — 14 per game over his career.
Sure, he boasts a career assist average of 8.0, but that has steadily declined from 8.3 in his rookie year to 7.6 last season.
Another aspect of Wall’s game that worries me is his inability to keep the basketball protected. He’s been a high-turnover guy his whole career, coming in at a 3.7 per-game average.
Wall means a lot to the Wizards, and I don’t blame them for locking him down with a max contract. But, does that mean he deserves it? Not at all.