John Wall, Wizards closing in on new contract
John Wall and the Wizards discussing a maximum contract extension for the point guard is not breaking news for CSNwashington readers. Neither is a report about the two sides recently picking up the negotiation pace with the years and dollars talk.
What's been reported on Wednesday night however does advance the story , potentially all the way to a result. According to Yahoo's Adrian Wojnarowski, Wall and the Wizards have "made significant progress toward completing a five-year, $80 million maximum contract extension."
In order to avoid letting Wall become a restricted free agent in the summer of 2014, Washington has until October 31 to complete a deal with Wall's agent, Dan Fegan. Wojnarowski said the two sides are "moving swiftly to reach a deal." ESPN.com's Marc Stein reported on Twitter that a deal "should be finalized by August 1."
More than the dollars, it's the potential deal's length that stands out. The Wizards could sign Wall, 22, to as much as a four-year deal -- unless the team makes him a designated player. In that case, the Wizards could grant him a five-year deal. Per collective bargaining agreement rules, each team can have one designated player. If the Wizards pick Wall, that obviously means significantly more total dollars, but also that the designated player option will not exist for Bradley Beal.
Even if this scenario seemed possible if not likely from the moment Washington drafted Wall No. 1 overall in the 2010 NBA Draft, it wasn't until his dynamic return from a knee injury last season that truly put the playmaker in this position. Wall, who is practicing with Team USA this week, missed the first 33 games in which the Wizards posted a 5-28 record. Over the rest of the campaign, he averaged a career-high 18.5 points with 7.6 assists. In that span, Washington nearly went .500, finishing at 24-25 after losing its last six games with many regulars sidelined.
For his career, Wall is averaging 16.9 points and 8.0 assists. Of course, there are no postseason stats to mention since he's yet to reach the playoffs during his three seasons.
Based on the Wizards roster and the other teams in the Eastern Conference, some are predicting the team's five-year postseason drought will end this season. If the Wizards sign Wall to this deal, the organization is clearly banking on it - and then some.