While free agency is winding down for the NBA this offseason, there was some big news on Wednesday night. The Washington Wizards and point guard John Wall are reportedly working on an extension in the five-year, $80 million range. They are expected to have it finalized at some time on or around August 1.
The Wizards were never going to let Wall go as he is clearly the future of the franchise. The 22-year-old was the No. 1 pick in the 2010 NBA Draft after leaving Kentucky following his freshman season. He has largely lived up to the hype, despite dealing with several injuries during his first three professional seasons.
During the second half of the 2012-13 season, Wall blossomed. For the season he averaged 18.5 points, 7.6 assists and 4.0 rebounds per game. He also shot a career-best 44.1 percent from the field, and that percentage has risen in each year of his career. If he continues his rise, Wall will undoubtedly be one of the best guards in the NBA soon.
The only concern for Wall has been his inability to stay healthy. Last season he played in just 49 games (starting 42) and played a career-low 32.7 minutes per game. If he manages to stay in the lineup, Washington will be making a great move by extending Wall.
The Wizards have a nice young trio of Wall, Bradley Beal and 2013 first-round draft pick (No. 3 overall) Otto Porter. Martell Webster also turned in a career-year last season and re-signed with the team this summer. He gives Wall the kind of floor-spreading outside shooter every great, penetrating point guard covets.
Now the Wizards just need 2011 first-rounders Jan Vesely (No. 6 pick) and Chris Singleton (No. 18 pick) to actually play like they belong in the NBA. If that happens, the Wizards will become a team on the rise in the Eastern Conference.