John Wall has signed a contract extension with the Washington Wizards worth a reported $80 million over 5 years to cement his status as the franchise player in DC.
The #1 pick in the 2010 NBA Draft has been described as the ‘cornerstone’ of the team by Wizards’ owner Ted Leonsis as they look to build their team around their 22 year-old star.
Wall is yet to play in more than 70 games in a season after last season’s campaign was hampered by a knee injury which forced him to miss the first 33 games of the season.
The 6’4″ guard dropped a career-high 47 points against Memphis in March and finished his shortened season with an average of 18.5 points per game which was complemented by 7.6 assists. Wall now averages 16.9ppg with 8 assists in his 184 game NBA career having scored over 3,000 points in his first three seasons.
Washington have now gone 5 years without making the play-offs although last season’s win tally of 29 games was their highest in that period. Since changing their name to the Wizards in 1997, they have reached the post-season on four occasions from 2005-2008 whilst suffering three consecutive first round defeats to Cleveland.
So far, they have not lost any players on their roster whilst adding two rookies, making two re-signings and bringing in Eric Maynor from Portland. Also in their ranks alongside Wall is Bradley Beal with big things expected from the sophomore after an impressive rookie season which helped him to 3rd on the award voting behind Damian Lillard and Anthony Davis.
Washington give themselves a chance to build a team capable of making them a play-off team again by securing the services of Wall but a trip to the post-season seems unlikely to come soon given the strength of other teams in the East.