If John Wall didn’t miss the first 33 games of the season, could the Washington Wizards have been a fringe playoff team? The Wiz are 18-15 with Wall in the starting lineup. Wall also is shooting a career high 44.4% from the field. In just his third season, the 22 year-old Wall is the face of a struggling Wizards franchise that can’t afford to lose him. Thus, all signs are pointing towards the Wizards offering Wall the max deal.
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.
“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, is a restricted free agent this summer. Grunfeld can sit down with Wall’s agent, Dan Fegan, to discuss terms after July 1 when the negotiation period opens. 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 then went on to state his case of why he thinks he’s a max contract player.
“I feel like I’m a max guy, just on how I am as a person. I feel like I make my teammates better,” Wall said. “I’m just a leader. I like to lead and I feel like I can change the organization. That’s the way we’re going with this team and how we’ve been playing lately.”
Wizards fans have nothing to fear according to Wall because he is not a follower, he is a leader. Wall stated that he does not plan on signing a one year deal then test the free agent market out the following year. Take notes LeBron.
“Nah, I don’t plan on it,” he said of only signing a one-year deal and testing the market after next season. “I like it here. This is the city where my dad was born and raised. I want to give something back and start it here. I don’t like to follow. I like to lead my own way.”