It’s official. While the writing had been on the wall, the Washington Wizards made it official today by inking John Wall to a five-year, $80 million contract.
With the max-deal, Wall now joins the AP class of NBA point guards. The class features a perennial All-Star (Russell Westbrook), an MVP (Derrick Rose), a consummate leader and All-Star (Chris Paul) ,an Olympian (Deron Williams) and … the former no.1 overall pick (Wall).
Is it me, or is something not right with this picture?
What exactly has Wall done to enter this prestigious class? May I remind you that it was less than two seasons ago that Wall was passed over not once, not twice, but 11 times during the Rising Stars Challenge Draft in 2012. He was picked after four other point guards.
And no, it wasn’t anyone of the aforementioned max-class that was selected ahead of him. He was instead passed over in favor of Kyrie Irving (understandable) Ricky Rubio, Jeremy Lin and Kemba Walker. Yet, somehow Wall is making top dollar?
But that was almost two years ago, he’s a much different player today, right?
Back then he was turnover-prone, lackadaisical defensively and , oh my, that jump-shot was horrid. Today, he’s … the same player!
From his sophomore to junior campaign, Wall increased his points from 16.3 to 18.5, his field goal percentage from .423 to .441 and his 3-point percentage from .071 (that’s not a misprint) to .267. While Wall improved, can someone tell me where the Brandon Jennings-to-Chris Paul transformation is on Wall’s stat sheet?
Because with the max-money Washington just handed Wall, it has to be somewhere.
Being injury-prone got Stephen Curry four years and $44 million. Being inconsistent got Jennings three years and $25 million. Being both got Wall five years and $80 million. Any way you slice it, Washington egregiously overpaid in re-signing Wall. Potential can get a player like Wall drafted first overall, but it shouldn’t get a player a max contract, as is the case here.
When matched up with his elite classmates, Wall will assuredly attempt to justify his place among them and probably fail in doing so, but to no fault of his own. While Wall may flunk out of this elite class of point guards, the dunce cap belongs on the Wizards because it was a class they prematurely put him in.