John Wall elected to continue his all-star career with the Washington Wizards, agreeing Friday night to a four-year deal with a player option in the fourth year. The designated player veteran extension will keep him as the team’s cornerstone and pay him $170 million.
Wall, the 26-year-old point guard who has played all seven seasons with the Wizards, will be tied to Washington for at least the next five years — two on his current deal, and three on the extension before he can opt out. By earning all-NBA honors for the first time after a career year in 2016-17 — he was third team — Wall became eligible to sign the extension that begins in 2019. Through the life of the contract, Wall will earn 35 percent of the salary cap.
The deal signals Wall’s long-term commitment to the franchise, as well as his contentment with the direction in which the Wizards are heading.
“He wouldn’t have signed it if he wasn’t,” a person familiar with Wall’s thinking told The Washington Post late Friday night.
In a video posted on the Uninterrupted Twitter account, Wall announced his agreement by speaking directly to a handheld recording device.
“Y’all know I wasn’t going nowhere,” Wall said into the camera. “Re-signed with the Wizards, man. Signed my extension. You know where I want to be. I love being in D.C. I love the organization. I love my teammates. I love the amazing fans. Just had to think it out with my family and friends. We made a decision. You know where I want to be at.
“I’m happy I’m coming back,” Wall continued. “Y’all know what I’m going for. Definitely going to bring y’all that championship. That’s my ultimate goal, and I ain’t going to stop till I get it. Peace. Love.”
Though the news broke late Friday night, Wizards majority owner Ted Leonsis made a bold prediction about Wall’s future Wednesday following the news conference for Otto Porter Jr. and his four-year max deal.
“My prediction is John Wall will sign his extension,” Leonsis told reporters. “He wants to be here, and my goal is to have no drama.”
During the Las Vegas Summer league, Leonsis and team President Ernie Grunfeld met with Rich Paul, Wall’s agent, to discuss a myriad of topics. The extension, naturally, topped the list. Though Wall could have signed the extension at the start of free agency July 1, he waited. Instead of simply signing, Wall and his representatives wanted to structure the deal in ways that bettered his current contract.
For instance, when Wall signed a rookie extension in July 2013, he did not have a player option. Now, not only does Wall get his out but he also has a 15-percent trade kicker in new extension.
Throughout the contract discussions, drama was absent as Wall consistently said he wanted to remain with the Wizards.
“I’m just chillin’. Just trying to figure out to negotiate it and manipulate it the way you want it to be,” Wall said, updating reporters on the status of the extension July 10. “Everybody know where I want to play and where I want to be. Everybody took it the wrong way I wanted to wait. It’s a big decision. I love D.C.
“Everything I do, I do it for the city of D.C. I do so much in the community. If it wasn’t for the love of that, I wouldn’t do it.”
Last season, Wall averaged 23.1 points, 10.7 assists and 4.2 rebounds while leading the Wizards (49-33) to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals. Wall set the franchise career record for assists (4,610) and steals (870) and became the first player in league history to average at least 20 points, 10 assists, four rebounds, two steals and 0.5 blocks.
Also during the playoffs, Wall became only the eighth player in NBA history to average at least 25 points and 10 assists, according to statistics from Basketball-Reference.com. Other players on that list include Hall of Fame point guards Magic Johnson, John Stockton, Isiah Thomas and Oscar Robertson.
Wall joined the Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry and the Houston Rockets’ James Harden as the three stars to sign the so-called “supermax” extension.