In a wide-ranging interview Monday, Wall discussed his often-bumpy career, including why he believes that after this season he deserves to be offered the maximum contract allowed under the collective bargaining agreement, worth approximately $85 million over the next five years.
“You never know, but I feel like I proved myself for them to give it to me,” Wall said. “I feel like the organization, the ownership knows what I’m capable of and what I bring to the table as a point guard. I feel like I put the pressure on myself to push myself to show that I’m willing to be a max player. . . . I feel like I did what I have to and still want to prove myself. I’m still not done. I still haven’t reached my peak and I feel like it’s up to them to make the decision.”
The Wizards have budgeted to keep Wall with the organization “for a long time,” according to a person with knowledge of the team’s thinking. Teams are allowed to designate one player to a five-year maximum contract at a time, essentially forcing them to make that decision between Wall and emerging rookie Bradley Beal, a No. 3 overall draft pick.
Wall is eligible for a contract extension after this season; otherwise, he will become a restricted free agent in the summer of 2014. Negotiations between Wall’s agent, Dan Fegan, and the Wizards cannot begin until July 1. Wall said he would be disappointed if an agreement isn’t reached by the end of October.
“I would be hurt. I feel like anybody should that feels like they are a franchise guy and proven themselves and still working to develop and get better. But this is a business and you have to deal with the stuff that comes with it and goes with it. I leave that up to those guys, but I love playing for D.C. I love this team, my staff, my teammates.”
In 168 career games, Wall has averages of 16.2 points, eight assists and 4.4 rebounds. The only players in NBA history to average 16 points, eight assists and four rebounds for their careers are Oscar Robertson, Magic Johnson and Chris Paul.
But Wall’s game is in clear need of improvement in some areas, including his jump shot, his turnover rate and his ability to control his emotions when faced with adversity. He has also missed 46 games in his first three seasons, with a bone bruise in his right knee and a left foot problem that forced him to sit out 13 games a rookie.