Don’t act like you’re surprised the Washington Wizards would do something like this.
Just a week ago, we reported that Wizards point guard John Wall, believes that he deserved to be a max player. Well, it appears that the folks at the top of the hierarchy in the organization agrees with him.
In a report via J. Michael of CSN Washinton, signs point to the Wizards giving Wall a max contract at some point in the not too distant future.
Will the Wizards give John Wall a max contract?
According to several persons with knowledge of the situation who talked with CSN Washington, all the signals point to the answer being yes.
For the embattled point guard, of course, rewarding him with a max contract is a no-brainer.
“If they believe I’m their franchise guy, that I’m the max player that I feel that I am, they’ll do what’s best for them,” Wall told CSN. “I feel like they believe in me. My coaches and my organization believe in me. The owner (Ted Leonsis) and GM (Ernie Grunfeld) believe in me. … They like what I’ve been doing lately.”
Wall, who makes $5.9 million this season under a rookie scale contract, is due to make $7.5 million next season. Grunfeld can sit down with Wall’s agent, Dan Fegan, to discuss terms after July 1 when the negotiation period opens and extend him. Players with one-to-six years experience are eligible for a max deal that can pay them 25% of his team’s salary cap. For Wall, that would make his max salary $13.5 million this season and he would be eligible for 4.5% raises based on the first-year number each year of the deal.
Wall is eligible for as much as a four-year deal, unless the Wizards make him a designated player –- per collective bargaining agreement rules, each team can have one –- which would grant him a five-year deal.
Wall missed the first 33 games of the season with a stress injury to his left knee and struggled with his jump shot and turnovers. He is averaging 15.6 points, 7.5 assists and 3.5 rebounds per game and shooting a career-high 44.4% from the field. His overall three-point average still lags at 29.2%.
This potential move comes straight out of the Wizards handbook on how to keep a franchise eternally irrelevant. Give 25% of your salary cap to a player who has a lengthy injury history, hasn’t played that well until this season and even his improved play recently is too small a sample to use as reasoning to make such an important decision.
If the Wizards do take this leap of faith with a player, who has the talent to cement himself amongst the league’s best points guards, then it will be just that, a leap of faith.