Franchise players don’t come around all that often in the NBA, so when teams get a chance to secure one long-term, they usually don’t mess around. Whether or not John Wall is a true franchise player, is yet to be determined. However, the Washington Wizards have apparently seen enough to know that Wall is their guy.
The 22-year old has had a pretty good career thus far. With three years under his belt, there’s no denying the point guard’s talent, but his ability to stay on the court is another issue. Wall missed 53 games in 2012-13 and he’s never played more than 69 games in a season (partly due to the lockout season). Still, to this point he hasn’t proved that he can stay healthy and productive for an entire 82-game season.
His agreement to an $80 million extension is more of a move about the future than it is about what Wall has done in his first three years. That’s the old saying about pro athletes and contracts – ‘you don’t pay them for what they’ve done, you pay them for what they’ll do in the future.’ Unfortunately, that’s not always the case, as teams frequently pay older players for what they’ve done.
So based on the idea that teams should invest in young talent, this signing makes a ton of sense for Washington. It’s not like Wall wasn’t the franchise before, but this new deal just makes it official. The Wizards are all-in on John Wall. Is he worth an $80 million extension right now today in 2013? No, not based on his performance to date. But, he could very well be worth that kind of money in the near future.
If Wall can stay healthy and get some help around him, I believe this move by the Wizards will pay off. Elite point guards are worth top dollar and Wall certainly has that kind of potential. He is only 22 and there’s plenty of time for him to develop into a true star.
Washington’s decision to sign him long-term is a little risky, however, he’s the best player they have. So why not go all in on him?
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