Who will benefit the most from John Wall's extension?
A primary benefit of moving so fast in the off-season for the Wizards is that they have their ducks in a row almost two months before training camp begins.
John Wall’s $80 million extension could've dragged on until Oct. 30, but they worked out a five-year deal with him in three weeks. Free agents Eric Maynor, Martell Webster and Garrett Temple were secured in the first three days of the signing period.
Coach Randy Wittman couldn't be happier, and he let his feelings be known on what he thought president Ernie Grunfeld and CEO and majority owner Ted Leonsis should do -– and why.
“I expressed to him my beliefs. I got to do that,” Wittman said of his conversations with Leonsis. “I've got to be willing to express my beliefs.”
When they begin training camp in late September, there’ll be no questions about the Wall’s contract status or concerns about what-ifs. The only decision left to be made for the Wizards, who have 14 of a maximum 15 players under contract, is whether or not they’ll fill the final spot or leave it open.
“Once you decided who you want to go with, who you want to build with, the faster you get it done the better (for me) as a coach. I don’t want to be in the say of how much you need to pay my players, do I want them, are they important to the team,” Wittman said.
As Wittman saw it, Wall especially didn't require any debate. He not only showed his talent in having a career best season by averaging 18.5 points and 44.1% shooting, but his poise in dealing with a left knee injury that caused him to miss 33 games.
“What I saw him do through the downs of being hurt, coming back and not playing at a level he knows he could play at, I told you guys all through that process its difficult not being in shape and playing in this thing,” Wittman said. “Then he got in shape, showed us his improvement, showed us who he was. I’m thankful we got him locked up.”
Wall, who has worked out in Los Angeles during the off-season, is returning Aug. 20 to begin training at Verizon Center. Nene will be here at the end of the month. He has been resting and doing rehabilitation in Denver.
Everything is ahead of schedule, just the way Wittman likes it.