The Washington Wizards have agreed to a contract extension with guard John Wall, Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld announced today. The Associated Press reports that “two people familiar with the deal say it’s a max deal, worth about $80 million over five years.”
“Since drafting John with the first overall pick, we have been impressed with his maturation, hard work and commitment to our franchise,” said Monumental Sports and Entertainment Founder, Chairman, Majority Owner and CEO Ted Leonsis. “He is the cornerstone of our team, and we have clearly expressed our desire to build around him well before making it official by re-signing him today. We are extremely confident in his leadership abilities and are excited to see the continued improvement of the team.”
According to the Associated Press, “If Wall hadn’t been able to reach an agreement with the Wizards this offseason, he would have become an unrestricted free agent in 2014. With Wall and a pair of players chosen with the No. 3 overall picks in the past two drafts - shooting guard Bradley Beal and small forward Otto Porter - the Wizards are hoping they will be more competitive.”
Wall was originally selected by Washington with the first overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft. He holds career averages of 16.9 points, 8.0 assists, 4.4 rebounds and 1.5 steals in 35.8 minutes per game in 184 career games (172 starts). Those numbers place him with Oscar Robertson, Magic Johnson and Chris Paul as the only players in NBA history who have averaged or are currently averaging at least 16 points, eight assists and four rebounds for their career. He is also one of only four players in NBA history (Johnson, Paul and Damon Stoudamire) to average at least 16.5 points, 7.5 assists, 4.0 rebounds and 1.5 steals over the first three years of their career.
“I am both proud and humbled by the belief that the Wizards organization, the fans and my teammates have shown in me since I arrived here three years ago,” said Wall. “I can promise all of them that I will repay that belief by representing the city of Washington and doing everything I can to get this team back where it belongs.”
Wall, who recently returned from his second consecutive summer as part of the USA Basketball Men’s National Team mini-camp, is also the fastest player (134 games) in NBA history to reach 2,200 points, 1,000 assists, 600 rebounds, 200 steals and 90 blocks (since steals and blocks became an official stat) and is the fastest active player to reach 900 career assists (111 games).
“John’s talent, ability and athleticism are unquestioned, but he is also a special player in terms of his will to win, unselfishness and ability to make his teammates better,” said Grunfeld. “The impact he has in all of those areas was evident last season and we look forward to both him and the team reaching new levels of success together.”
Last season, Wall averaged a career-high 18.5 points, a team-leading 7.6 assists, 4.0 rebounds and 1.3 steals in 32.7 minutes per game in 49 games (42 starts) after missing the first 33 games of the season due to a stress injury in his left patella. He joined LeBron James and Kobe Bryant as the only three players in the NBA last season to average at least 22.0 points, 7.0 assists, 4.8 rebounds and 1.6 steals from March 1 through the end of the season. Wall was named Eastern Conference Player of the Week for games played March 11-17 after averaging 24.0 points, 11.0 assists, 5.0 rebounds and 2.5 steals per game while shooting .617 from the field, .800 from three-point range and .857 from the line while leading the Wizards to a 3-1 record. He scored a career-high 47 points vs. Memphis on March 25 and became the first player in NBA history to average at least 24 points, 11 assists, five rebounds, two steals, shoot at least .600 from the field, .800 from three-point range and .850 from the line in a four-game span.