John Wall

One of the next big summer questions: How big an extension for John Wall?


Agent Dan Fegan has been a tad busy at the start of free agency, what with being one of the agents and key advisors to Dwight Howard and all.

But now that is basically done and Fegan can move on to another client and one of the other interesting questions of the NBA Summer:

What kind of extension should the Wizards give John Wall?

The two sides have yet to have formal discussions, reports That’s not a huge surprise, the two sides have until Oct. 30 to figure this out and both Fegan and the Wizards were active on other free agents and issues. The Wizards were busy getting a backup for Wall in Eric Maynor and resigning small forward Martell Webster.

But the Wall conversations are coming.

Of course, Wall wants a max extension (five years at around $80 million). Once healthy and back to form last season he played like the No. 1 pick the Wizards thought they were getting — in in his last 20 games his jump shot was falling and he averaged 23.9 points per game on 48.3 percent shooting and 41.7 percent from three, plus he has 7.8 assists per game.

However, I’m not sure he earned a max deal in the way James Harden had a year ago. The Wizards have said they plan to make a fair offer that will appeal to Wall and it is likely to be max or near it.

I think the best comparable is Stephen Curry — he had showed a lot of promise but had battled ankle injuries that threatened his productivity when it was time for his extension last summer. Curry and Golden State agreed to four years, $44 million. Then last season a healthy Curry had a breakout year and the Warriors look like they got a steal. That is a little more than what Rajon Rondo got off his rookie deal, which was a steal for Boston.

If they want, the Wizards could make this five years, $55 million and offer Wall an opt-out at three or four years. Prove you deserve the max and you can get it then. But that seems a good ballpark to land in.

However, we will see where they go. Now that free agency is starting to slow down, this becomes maybe the most interesting question of the summer.

Report: Rockets will try to sign Alessandro Gentile next summer

Alessandro Gentile, Paulius Jankunas
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The Rockets tried signing Sergio Llull this summer, but he opted for a long-term extension with Real Madrid.

So, they’ll just turn to another player in their large chest of stashed draft picks – Alessandro Gentile.

Marc Stein of ESPN:

Gentile, who was selected No. 53 in the 2014, is a 22-year-old wing for Armani Milano. He’s a good scorer, but he primarily works from mid-range – an area the Rockets eschew. He can get to the rim in Europe, but his subpar athleticism might hinder him in the NBA.

If Gentile comes stateside, he’ll face a steep learning curve. But he’s young enough and talented enough that he could develop into a rotation player.

Report: Hawks co-owner made more money by exposing Danny Ferry’s Luol Deng comments

Michael Gearon, Bruce Levenson
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A terribly kept secret: Hawks co-owner Michael Gearon Jr. wanted to get rid of general manager Danny Ferry.

Many believe that’s why Gearon made such a big deal about Ferry’s pejorative “African” comment about Luol Deng – that Gearon was more concerned about ousting Ferry than showing real concern over racism.

Gearon had another, no less sinister, reason to raise concern over Ferry’s remarks.

Kevin Arnovitz and Brian Windhorst of ESPN:

While Gearon felt that Ferry, as he wrote in the June 2014 email to Levenson, “put the entire franchise in jeopardy,” Gearon also figured to benefit financially from a Sterling-esque fallout.

In the spring of 2014, Gearon was in the process of selling more of his interest in the team to Levenson and the partners he had sold to in September. The agreed-upon price for roughly a third of Gearon’s remaining shares valued the Hawks at approximately $450 million, according to reports from sources.

“We accept your offer to buy the remaining 31 million,” Gearon wrote in an email to Levenson on April 17, 2014. “Let me know next steps so we can keep this simple as you suggested without a bunch of lawyers and bankers.”

Approximately five weeks later — just a little more than a week before the fateful conference call — Steve Ballmer agreed to pay $2 billion for the Clippers, a record-smashing price that completely changed the assessed value of NBA franchises. Gearon firmly maintains he was acting out of the sincerity of his convictions to safeguard the franchise from the Sterling stench, but such a spectacle also allowed him to wiggle out of selling his shares at far below market value.

Gearon and his legal team later challenged the notion that the sell-down was bound by any sort of contractual obligation and that any papers were signed. Once the organization became involved in the investigation, the sale of the shares was postponed.

Arnovitz and Windhorst did an incredible amount of reporting here. I suggest you read the full piece, which includes much more background on the Gearon-Ferry rift.

Considering the Hawks sold for $850 million, Gearon definitely made more money than if he’d sold his shares at a $450 million valuation.

Did that motivate him? Probably, though it doesn’t have to be one or the other. Most likely, his actions were derived from at least three desires – making more money, ousting Ferry and combating racism. Parsing how much each contributed is much more difficult.

What Ferry said was racist, whether or not he was looking at more racism on the sheet of paper in front of him. His comments deserved punishment.

But if Gearon didn’t have incentive to use them for his own benefit, would we even know about them? How many other teams, with more functional front offices, would have kept similar remarks under wraps or just ignored them?