John Wall has agreed to sign a four-year $170 million super max deal to stay with the Washington Wizards. Here’s a breakdown of the deal courtesy of ESPN’s Bobby Marks.
“The Designated Player Veteran Extension numbers for the Wizards John Wall would mirror that of the Rockets James Harden. The four year breakdown would be: $37.8M, $40.8M, $43.8M and $46.8M. The first year would start in 2019-20 and is based on a $108M salary cap. The total dollars of the current contract (2 years) and extension (4 years) is $206.5M.”
This is a contract that Wall certainly earned every penny of with his play the last couple of seasons. Wall was drafted with the first pick in the 2010 draft by the Wizards and has been getting better ever since. In Wall’s rookie season he averaged 16.4 points per game and 8.3 assists per game. Those numbers have only steadily improved and last season he averaged a career high in points at 23.1, career high in assists at 10.7 per game, and a career high in steals at 2 per game. Wall has made the all-star team in his last four seasons.
Wall has grown into the leader of an up and coming Wizards squad that this past season almost faced the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference finals. Wall helped the Wizards avoid elimination in game 6 of the Eastern Conference semifinals where he nailed this game winning three pointer with three seconds left in the game.
The Wizards would go on to lose game 7, but they certainly got another taste of what it’s like to go deep into the playoffs.
Wall has one of the most exciting games in the entire NBA and is one of the top point guards in the league. The Wizards play a fast paced style of offense and are always looking to get Wall the ball after an opponent’s missed shot or made basket. Wall’s speed is unlike most guards in the NBA and could probably only be compared to that of Russell Westbrook. The Wizards transition game is deadly as Wall usually takes the ball coast to coast and scores a lay-up or pops it out for an open shot to one of his teammates after he draws the attention of all of the defenders .
With the recent issues out in Cleveland the Wizards could be a surprise team in the NBA next year. With Wall at the helm and with help from Bradley Beal and Otto Porter Jr. the Wizards might be closer to making the finals than people think. If the Cavs do indeed blow-it-up I see it as a two team race in the east between Washington and Boston.
Wall is as steady as there is in the NBA and the numbers show that he has improved every season. After a few injuries in Wall’s first three seasons he has started and played in over 77 games the past four seasons. Health has been a big part of Wall’s game because it has allowed him to stay on the court which is only making him better. The last four seasons Wall has played over 35 minutes per game and he even earned his first All-NBA team this past season when he was named to the All-NBA third team.
With Wall’s improvement it has only helped the Wizard’s franchise. In Wall’s first three seasons with the club the team didn’t have one season where they won 30+ games. The Wizards have now won over 40 games the past four seasons and have made the playoffs in three of those four seasons. The Wizards made it to the eastern conference semifinals in all three of those appearances. The emergence of Bradley Beal and Otto Porter Jr. has also helped Wall’s game improve and has given Washington their own version of the “big 3.”
John Wall’s explosiveness and speed are two of the biggest components of his game, but he wouldn’t have either of those if he wasn’t able to go to his left as well as he does. Wall is great with his left hand which makes it harder for defenders to stay in front of him because they don’t know which way he is going to go. A defender will often try to take away an offensive players weak hand with the hopes of him not blowing by him, but you can’t do that with Wall. Here’s a four minute video of left handed jams from John Wall this past season.
As you can see he’s not an easy guy to stay in front of and whatever he can do with his left he can do with his right hand as well. If there’s one thing that John Wall doesn’t do well or need’s improvement on it’s his three-point shooting. He’s a career 32% three-point shooter, but has shown the ability to knock down shots when he needs to. It’s just a small part of his game that needs improvement but certainly doesn’t take away from all the other exciting aspects of his game.
It’ll certainly be interesting to see if Wall takes another step forward next season and if he will take the Wizards with him. The Wizards certainly will be a team to watch out for in the east and if Wall improves even more he will have to be mentioned in the conversation of league MVP. It’s awesome to see such a good player get rewarded and to see him stay with the team that drafted him so many years ago. I know I can’t wait to see what the Wall-Star has in store for us again next season.
*All stats are from basketball-reference.com