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

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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 CSNWashington.com. 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.

John Wall scores 37 as Wizards down LeBron James, Cavs 127-115

Associated Press
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CLEVELAND (AP) John Wall scored 37 points, Bradley Beal added 27 and the Washington Wizards began a challenging road trip by beating LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers 127-115 on Saturday night.

Wall scored 18 in the first quarter, when the Wizards shot 82 percent, and Washington held on down the stretch to avenge an overtime loss to the NBA champions last month.

James, who briefly wore goggles to protect an eye injury sustained Friday night, scored 24 and added 11 rebounds and eight assists. Kyrie Irving added 23 points and Kevin Love 17 for Cleveland, playing at home for the only time in a seven-game stretch.

Washington’s victory cut Cleveland’s lead in the Eastern Conference to a half-game over idle Boston.

Rudy Gobert calls out Jazz teammates after loss: “We’ve just got to compete. We’re too nice.”

Associated Press
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Utah and the L.A. Clippers are almost locked into a first round, four vs. five battle in the Western Conference. The only question is which team will have home court, and the Clippers took a big step towards that beating the Jazz at home Saturday. While the Jazz still has a half-game lead, the Clippers have a much softer schedule the rest of the way.

After that loss, Jazz center Rudy Gobert was ticked off and called out his teammates. Via Tim MacMahon of ESPN.

“We’ve got guys that compete, but some of us don’t compete. Some of us just think about scoring. That’s what it is. … Coach keeps repeating it: We’ve just got to compete. We’re too nice. Those guys, we know they’re going to get calls. We’ve just got to come out aggressive and ready to fight.”

Interesting comments for a team that is third in the NBA in defensive rating and 13th in offense.

Gobert is frustrated as Utah has dropped four of its last five, and the slump has been on both ends of the court. The defense has struggled, but if guys are looking to score too much they aren’t doing it efficiently because the offense has been worse.

This slide likely costs Utah home court in the first round, which could matter in what will be a tight matchup with Los Angeles. Utah needs to find its grinding rhythm again heading into the playoffs, at their best they can knock off the Clippers in the first round. Just not like they are playing now.

One thing to watch, Utah’s Gordon Hayward asked out of the game in the fourth quarter due to what is being called a bruised muscle in his leg. If he misses any time or if this lingers, it could be trouble for the Jazz in the postseason.

 

LeBron James starts game with protective goggles. That lasts about a minute.

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LeBron James suffered a scratched cornea Friday night when he went up for a layup late in the third quarter and Jeremy Lamb tried to contest and caught him clean across the face. LeBron got the and-1, but had trouble keeping his eye open in postgame interviews Friday.

Saturday he did play — wearing protective goggles. As you can see above.

That lasted about a minute.

LeBron was likely frustrated as the Cavaliers defensive woes had the Wizards up double digits much of the first half.

Kobe Bryant says he’s “only a phone call away” if organization needs his advice

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For the first time since he walked off the court in his final game, Kobe Bryant was back at Staples Center Friday night.

The reason was Shaquille O’Neal was getting a statue out in front of Staples Center (a building that may not have gotten built without the two of them). The two famed feuders sat next to each other and joked around through the ceremony. Time heals all wounds.

With the new management of the Lakers — specifically Kobe’s former agent Rob Pelinka as GM — there has been speculation Kobe could take on a role. He’s not looking for something formal, according to reports, but he didn’t say no, either, when asked.

I picture Kobe as a guy who someday buys a team, not a guy who wants to haggle with agents over the details of a contract. He’s not going to take on a day-to-day role, he likes the retired life and what he is building with the Kobe brand.

That said, the Lakers front office can use all the smart voices it can get as they try speed up a rebuild. They should give him a call every once in a while.