There’s been a lot of talk in the wake of John Wall’s extension about what it means for the future of the franchise and their ability to contend.
However, we haven’t talked a lot about what it means for his place in franchise history. Wall already holds the team record for assists and steals, and now that he’s under contract for potentially the next six years, he’s in position to grab several more in the next few seasons. Let’s take a look at some of the records and his chance of claiming them between now and 2023.
Points - Probability: Good, if he stays on the floor
Wall’s currently 7th on the franchise leaderboard, 6,132 points behind Elvin Hayes. If Wall can score as many points over the next four seasons as he did in the last four, he’d pass him near the end of the 2020-21 season. But even if his scoring dips a little bit, he’s in very good position to pass Hayes before he has to make a decision on his player option. As long as he stays healthy and doesn’t get traded, he should be able to get it with no issue.
Free Throws Made - Probability: High
Wall needs to make 888 more free throws to pass Elvin Hayes for the top spot. Wall has made at least 250 in every season but one, and made 422 last season alone. If Wall ramps things up, he could have this record wrapped before the end of the 2018-19 season.
Blocks & Rebounds - Probability: Don’t even think about it
Wall will likely go down as the best shot-blocking point guard ever, but he’s still 1,200 blocks behind Hayes. He’s also a little over 10,000 rebounds behind Wes Unseld on that leaderboard, so you can forget about that one. However, he only needs about 1,000 more to move into the top ten, so there’s still something to aim at in the next few years.
Regular season victories - Probability: Low, but not impossible
Wall is 339 regular season wins behind Unseld, so he’d need to average 57 wins over the next six seasons to pass him. That would require winning at least seven out of every ten games between now and 2023. We’re not saying it’s impossible, but it would require succeeding in a way Washington fans are not accustomed to succeeding.
Playoff victories - Probability: Low
This one’s tricky. Thanks to the way the NBA playoffs have been extended, Wall has a decent chance to catch Unseld in terms of playoff victories. The problem is, Bradley Beal has one more playoff win than Wall, thanks to Washington’s win in Game 3 of their 2015 playoff series against the Hawks where Wall was sidelined with an injury. So unless Wall and Beal are split up, or Wall wins two playoff games without Beal, he probably won’t get this record, no matter how many playoff runs he makes in Washington.
Games Played - Probability: Low unless he gets another contract with the team
Currently, Wall is 484 games behind Unseld in regular season games played, so he would need to average 81 games per season over the next six seasons to pass him before his extension is up. Even if he stays injury-free all six seasons, games where he’s rested at the end of the season could keep him from hitting those lofty averages.
On the bright side, Wall only needs to play three more seasons in Washington to join Wes Unseld as the only player in franchise history to play 10 seasons with the team. If Wall picks up his player option and plays out all six seasons of his extension, he’ll have played 13 seasons in Washington, the same number as Unseld. So even if Wall doesn’t pass Unseld on the games played mark, he’ll be right beside Unseld in terms of longevity and impact with the franchise.