On the eve of the start of this summer’s free agency period, the Washington Wizards offered John Wall a four-year contract extension. With Wall eligible to enter unrestricted free agency in 2019, it made perfect sense for the Wizards to attempt to convince Wall to sign the extension now and remain in Washington beyond 2019. Wall, on the other hand, has been very vocal in recent years about his hopes to see improvements made with the Wizards’ roster. As a result, Wall stated he would take his time and deliberate before making the decision to sign.
It was reported by Shams Charania of The Vertical late Friday night that Wall has agreed to sign the four-year supermax contract extension worth $170 million. Added to the $37 million Wall has on the two remaining years of his current contract, he’s set to make about $207 million through the 2022-23 NBA season.
Wall confirmed the news shortly afterwards in a brief video for Uninterrupted:
— UNINTERRUPTED (@uninterrupted) July 22, 2017
Since being drafted with the No. 1 overall pick of the 2010 NBA draft, John Wall (26) quickly began to show why he was a top pick. With his lightning quick speed, great athleticism and solid defense, Wall entered the league as one of the more exciting players to watch. However, over the past few seasons, Wall has made some improvements in arguably his two biggest weaknesses — shooting and his decision-making. Already a solid midrange shooter, Wall had never been a threat from deep. However, after shooting under 30 percent from three-point range in his first three seasons, Wall has shot the three with more confidence and has connected on at least 30 percent of his attempts in each of his last four seasons. On the decision-making front, Wall was one of only three players last season to average 20+ points and 10+ assists, according to ESPN Stats & Info.
Getting Wall signed to an extension was one of the Wizards’ top priorities this offseason, and for good reason. With Bradley Beal (24) and Otto Porter (24) both signed to max contracts, as well, the Wizards have their three core pieces all signed through at least 2021. This will likely allow the Wizards to remain as one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference for the foreseeable future. The team hasn’t been able to get past the second round of the playoffs, but keeping their young core together could eventually result in the team eventually getting over that hump.
Wall is a four-time All-Star and made his first All-NBA team this year, which made him eligible to receive the contract extension the Wizards offered. With all the movement we’ve seen this offseason with All-Star players (Jimmy Butler, Paul George, Paul Millsap) all heading to the Western Conference, the Eastern Conference could hardly afford seeing Wall become yet another elite player to switch conferences. Wall has blossomed into arguably a top 10 player and top five point guard in the NBA.
This contract signing represents a sigh of relief for the Wizards, Wizards fans and NBA fans, in general, who would like to see the distribution of star players a little more spread out across the two conferences.
Featured Photo Credit: SLAM Online