John Wall has finally made it. The NBA writers have finally recognized him as one of the best players in the world’s greatest league. For years he clamored for recognition, and after having double-knee surgery last May, going through a rigorous rehab, and enduring a 2-8 start for his team, Wall broke through with a career-season, leading the Washington Wizards to its best season in nearly forty years.
Being voted to the All-NBA third team is his reward. However, the nod means the four-time all-star could be in line for a very lucrative gift.
The only good to Kevin Durant not coming to the Washington Wizards, instead opting to the Golden State Warriors, was the NBA owners and union collectively deciding on a provision within the league’s new college bargaining agreement that allows a team to assign a player with a Designated Player Extension. Call it the Kevin Durant rule. The rule varies by player and contract situation, but one of its triggers is being named to an All-NBA team.
Wall’s nomination triggers him to be eligible this July to a four-year extension to the existing two years (through the 2018-19 season) he has remaining on his current contract that is worth $37.2 million. If Wall were to sign the extension he would receive 35 percent of the NBA salary cap starting in 2019-20, which would pay him roughly $165 million in total or simply $41.25 million per season.
Remember when Wall was upset he was making the same as Pistons guard Reggie Jackson. Well, that could come to a cease this summer. The extension would make him one of the highest paid players in the NBA. What a reward.
Wall has simply put the Wizards franchise on his back. The “King of D.C. Sports” averaged 23.1 points, 10.7 assists, and 2.0 steals — all career-highs. He shot 45.1 percent from the field, also a career-high. And while the all-NBA nod is based on the regular season, he sealed his best season of his career with a more impressive postseason.
Leading the Wizards to the second-round for the third time in four years and coming just one game away from the Eastern Conference Finals, Wall averaged a playoff career-high 27.2 points while dropping 10.3 dimes per game and coming away with 1.7 steals per game. He shot 45.2 from the field and 34.4 percent from three — both playoff career-highs.
Wall bet on himself this season and it appears he is finally set to reap the dividends that eluded him in the past. No shoe deal and a bit of distain for seeing max-deals being thrown out to less deserving players. Heck, going into this past season, the Wizards’ best player, franchise player, was the third-highest paid player on the team. All could be behind him now.
But will he go ahead and reap the monetary rewards and hammer out an extension this summer?
The new extension would not kick in until 2019-20 so signing it would not hamper the team’s salary cap flexibility over the next two summers. There is no question Wall wants to win. And there is no question the team wants to be his permanent home for his career.
“John [Wall] will be here for his career. We don’t take him for granted, we love him,” Wizards owner Ted Leonsis proclaimed to Mike Prada of SB Nation.
Only time will tell how Wall allows this golden opportunity play out.
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