Last week, when John Wall earned All-NBA honors he also earned the right to negotiate a big extension with the Wizards. He’s now qualifies to sign a Designated Player Veteran Extension, which would allow him to add another four years to his current deal at up to 35 percent of the salary cap. Typically players can only sign deals worth up to 30 percent of the cap if they stay with their current team, and they can only sign for up to 25 percent of the cap if they sign with a new team.
That’s a big advantage for the Wizards, and it sounds like they’ll try to use it to keep John Wall in Washington for a long time. According to J. Michael of CSN Mid-Atlantic, the Wizards plan on discussing an extension with Wall this summer, but he also reports Wall wants more details on the team’s future plans before he commits:
From league sources close to the situation, Wall wants to see a bigger picture plan on where the franchise is headed before committing for longer. The Wizards won 49 games this season and advanced to the conference semifinals for the third time in four years.
Washington’s options for external improvement are limited for the next two years. Unless there is a drastic roster change, the Wizards won’t have cap space until 2019, when Wall is currently set to hit free agency. They also don’t have much in terms of upcoming draft picks. Their only pick in next month’s draft is the 52nd overall, and they may need to leverage one of their upcoming picks in 2018 or 2019 to address depth next season, much like they have the past two seasons.
One can’t fault Wall for doing his due diligence before locking in to another four years with Washington. He’s earned the right to ask what the plan is moving forward and how the team plans on taking the next step forward, considering how much he’s done for the franchise over the years.
For the Wizards’ sake, they better hope they can convince Wall to sign on the dotted line. If the Wizards do not get a deal done this summer, Wall would have to make an All-NBA team again next season in order to keep his eligibility for the DPVE. Otherwise, Washington loses leverage as they head into his free agency year. Then again, if the extra money Washington can offer isn’t enough to convince Wall to sign, they’ve got much bigger problems on their hands than leverage.
At the end of the day, I think it would be very surprising if Wall chose not to sign an extension this summer. While there are legitimate questions about just how high the Wizards’ ceiling truly is, it’s also fair to question how many other teams put him in a better position than the one he has right now.
Plus, he also has to consider that unless he signs a major endorsement deal in the coming years, his basketball deal is still going to be his major source of income. Does he really want to miss out on his maximum payday after all the time he’s spent underpaid the last few season because of the rising salary cap?
For once, it would be nice if Wall put money ahead of winning.