John Wall has been one of the stars of the summer. The free flowing, showboat and no defense games from the pro-am circuit cater to his strengths, but there has been something special. He looks healthy and his explosive athleticism is back. He is lightning fast end-to-end.
And his jumpshot is falling. I’ve seen Wall play twice in person this summer and his shot looks much more steady, and he looks more confident with it.
You would too if you were making 2,000 shots a day. Which is what Wall told I am a GM he is doing.
John Wall: I didn’t have to shoot jumpshots when I was in high school; I just ran past everybody and just dunked and did whatever. So this whole summer that’s all I’m working on is my jumpshot. I wanna take the next step to being a superstar, to be an All-Star, that’s my goal this year, so I’m working on my jumpshot and everything else….
Question (Audience): So you’ve been working on your jumper. Do you try to hit a certain amount everyday?
John Wall: I have to make 2,000 a day.
Not that Wall is done dunking. Not by a long shot. He’s even thinking of trying to take Blake Griffin’s dunk contest crown.
Yea I’m thinking about it, maybe this year or next year I’ll probably enter the dunk contest.
Wall was solid last year. He was trying to figure out how to work his game into the NBA and he was playing through injuries. This season, look for him to break out.
VIZZINI: “So, it is down to you. And it is down to me.”
MAN IN BLACK nods and comes nearer…
MAN IN BLACK: “Perhaps an arrangement can be reached.”
VIZZINI: “There will be no arrangement…”
MAN IN BLACK: “But if there can be no arrangement, then we are at an impasse.”
That farcical scene from The Princess Bride pretty much sums up where we are with the Tristan Thompson holdout with the Cleveland Cavaliers, minus the Iocane powder. (Although that scene was a battle of wits in the movie and this process seems to lack much wit.) The Cavaliers have put a five-year, $80 million offer on the table. Thompson wants a max deal (or at least a more than has been offered), but he also doesn’t want to play for the qualifying offer and didn’t sign it. LeBron James just wants the two sides just to get it done.
Brian Windhorst of ESPN thinks LeBron could be very disappointed.
Windhorst was on the Zach Lowe podcast at Grantland (which you should be listening to anyway) and had this to say about the Thompson holdout:
“I actually believe it will probably go months. This will go well into the regular season.”
Windhorst compared it to a similar situation back in 2007 with Anderson Varejao, which eventually only broke because the then Charlotte Bobcats signed Varejao to an offer sheet. Thompson is a restricted free agent, meaning the Cavaliers can match any offer, but only Portland and Philadelphia have the cap space right now to offer him a max contract. Neither team has shown any interest in doing so.
And so we wait. And we may be waiting a while.
ProBasketballTalk’s Kurt Helin explains why he believes the Sacramento Kings have enough pieces to potentially make a run at the final playoff spot in the West.