Wall to continue to build legacy in DC
The contract extension that’s set to make John Wall the Wizards’ highest-paid player has been finalized and the team will make it official Thursday at a news conference at Verizon Center, persons with knowledge of the situation confirmed to CSN Washington.
Wall, who has been training in Los Angeles during the off-season, already is in Washington for the announcement.
“Since drafting John with the first overall pick, we have been impressed with his maturation, hard work and commitment to our franchise,” said Ted Leonsis, CEO and majority owner of Monumental Sports and Entertainment, in a statement. “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.”
Wall was eligible for an extension of four or five years and the Wizards were able to begin negotiating with his representatives July 10.
CSN first reported that talks were underway July 15 for what would likely be a max deal and as early as March that such a deal was imminent. Last week, CSN confirmed ESPN.com and Yahoo Sports reports that the expected terms would be five years for $80 million, or about $16 million per year. ESPN.com’s Marc Stein first reported the first day of August was the target for the announcement.
A five-year fully guaranteed deal would make Wall a designated player. Each NBA team is allowed to have one, allowing them to grant their best player an extra year to give them more leverage in retaining their free agents.
“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 in the same statement from the Wizards. “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, the No. 1 overall draft pick in 2010, will make $7.45 million for the 2013-14 season in the final year of his rookie contract before his extension kicks in with the 2014-15 season.
“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 Wizards president Ernie Grunfeld in a statement. “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.”