Ted Leonsis is not famed for a wait-and see approach when it comes to his young players. Everyone remembers the new Big 3, co-starring Andray Blatche and Jordan Crawford. Blatche was amnestied as his early extension kicked in and Crawford was essentially salary-dumped while on a rookie contract. John Wall is a different case, of course. The question is two-fold: which max does Wall get, and when?
Ted puts his money where his mouth is when it comes to the Ten Point Plan. In Crawford, the Wizards dumped a distraction. In Blatche, they jumped tried to lock up a core player with a long-term, high-priced deal and took a body shot to the wallet to protect the core and the cap. There is no question Wall is part of the core, and with a report of Wall having been pegged as a max player now ... so why now?
Leverage is everything in negotiations. If the Wiz were certain he was a four year-max player, why say anything at all? Retaining a first-round pick for a standard max for any team is assured. An early extension for four years is pretty pointless, if you ask me. This sounds like setting the stage for Sam Presti getting in touch with Kevin Durant at 12:01 AM on the first day of free agency and offering him a five year max extension kind of moment.
Think that's ridiculous? You know whose presence changes teams from lottery squads to playoff contenders? Superstars. The John Wall effect has been in play for half a season and that's without taking his recent offensive explosions into account. If John Wall gets extended this offseason, nothing but the five year-max makes sense. With Ted wanting to protect the core, lock his young stars up early and with John Wall on the record stating D.C. is where he wants to be, I expect an announcement on the first day of eligibility. Sure Andray Blatche and 'once burned twice shy' should apply here, but the stars are lined up and my money says Ted spends his.