Among the pressing issues going into the off-season with John Wall won’t be just about his health or his ability to build on his third year with the Wizards.
It’ll be center around whether or not he deserves, and ultimately receives, a max contract. The Wizards (29-53) can extend him up to five years though he has one year left on his rookie scale contract at $7.45 million.
Wall, who missed the first 33 games of the season because of a stress injury to his left knee, has made it clear that he should be granted a max deal after averaging career highs of 18.5 points and 44.1% shooting. But he also sounds willing to take less than the max if it means freeing up room under the salary cap to upgrade via free agency.
He keeps an open line of communication with Wizards owner Ted Leonsis.
“I have no idea,” Wall said of getting an extension signed this summer. “I know they still believe in me and I believe in myself. I've taken the steps I need to take to keep improving and help my game develop -- offense and defense -- trying to keep getting better and try to lead these guys and this organization back to the Promise Land. That’s all my goal is. I got to worry about nothing else. Just winning here.”
The Wizards haven’t made the postseason since 2007-08 when they won 43 regular-season games. Their 29 wins represented their most in a season since then, but they have decisions to make on free agents A.J. Price, Wall's backup, Garrett Temple, Cartier Martin and Martell Webster.
Wall is eligible for a max contract which is 25% of the team's salary cap. That would've been $13.5 million for the 2012-13 season. He'd also get 4.5% raises based on the first-year number each year of the deal.
“You never know how it goes. I just feel like … I’ll get what I deserve and those guys in the organization (will) give me what they think I deserve,” said Wall, who will train in Los Angeles during the off-season and link up with backcourt mate Bradley Beal. “The main thing with me is it’s not all about me. I’m not a selfish type of person, type of player. All I want to do is win. If we’re winning, I’m cool with anything. That’s all that matters to me.”