Jul 25, 2013, 12:01 AM EST
It’s certainly a risk, but the Wizards have their reasons and it looks like it is going to happen.
The Wizards and Wall are close to a five-year, $80 million deal, something first reported by Marc Stein of ESPN. Then Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports followed up with more details.
The Wizards will make Wall their designated franchise player, allowing him to get the fifth year on the extension, sources said.
The Wizards and Wall’s agent, Dan Fegan, have until Oct. 31 to complete an agreement on the rookie extension for Wall to avoid restricted free agency next summer, but are moving swiftly to reach a deal.
It’s a near max deal for Wall, who is in Las Vegas this week as part of the Team USA minicamp.
If that seems like a lot, remember J. Michael of CSNWashington.com called called this back during the season and explained why. You have to remember where Washington was just a few years ago — they had the worst locker room in the NBA, with the Gilbert Arenas gun incident just being the most famous of the problems. It was a roster that was not professional in preparation or on the court. It was a mess.
Wall was part of changing that culture — even through injuries he has been professional, worked on his game and tried to improve. He has been great in the locker room. That matters for the culture of the Wizards going forward.
The Wizards think he is going to be the guy from the end of last season on the court, too — in in his last 20 games his jump shot was falling and he averaged 23.9 points per game on 48.3 percent shooting and 41.7 percent from three, and he added 7.8 assists per game.
At that level of production Wall would be worth the money (and the Wizards would be a playoff team). But they are paying him for more than that.
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