The Wizards want to extend John Wall — he’s the guy they want to build around, the face of the franchise, he’s good in the locker room and good on the court (when he’s healthy and on the court). In his last 20 games last season he averaged averaged 23.9 points per game on 48.3 percent shooting and 41.7 percent from three (his jump shot was working), plus he has 7.8 assists per game.
The question is the price.
The two sides have opened negotiations to figure that out, reports J. Michael at CSNWashington.com.
The Wizards have begun talking with John Wall’s agent, Dan Fegan, regarding an extension before the regular season, CSN Washington has learned.
Wizards president Ernie Grunfeld wouldn’t comment on whether or not he expected an agreement to be consummated quickly, but if how quickly he moved in free agency is any indication he’d like to get it done sooner rather than later. Grunfeld locked up Eric Maynor, Martell Webster and Garrett Temple in the first three days of the free agency.
In an ideal world they would get Wall on a Stephen Curry-like deal, which was four years, $44 million. The Wizards could give Wall the fifth year and throw in a player option after three or four years.
But they may go higher than that. Michael says the Wizards are all in for Wall and may be willing to overpay to keep the guy they want to be their star happy. A max deal under the new CBA would start at $13.7 million this season, we don’t know the number for next year yet but it likely will be higher so we’re talking a deal starting at $14 million a year or more.
Is Wall worth that?
Markieff Morris made a lot of noise this summer about being unhappy in Phoenix and wanting out, after the Suns traded his twin brother Marcus to the Pistons as part of a salary dump. He openly demanded a trade, and said on the record several times that his long-term future is not with the team. He’s changed his tune since training camp started, once he realized he has no choice but to play for the Suns unless they decide to trade him. But according to the Detroit Free Press‘ Vincent Ellis, there is interest from the one team he would be guaranteed to want to play for:
Markieff’s unhappiness with the Suns started when they traded his brother, so he would obviously jump at the chance to reunite with Marcus. And they don’t have much in the way of power forward depth beyond the other Morris twin and Ersan Ilyasova, so it would be a good fit from a basketball standpoint. But with the brothers’ felony assault charges pending, reuniting them on the same roster might not be the best idea, and it also opens up the possibility of having to trade one of them in the future and the other one being unhappy. So far, the Suns have shown no inclination to trade Markieff, but if that changes, the Pistons are an interesting destination to keep an eye on.
Gregg Popovich’s habit of resting key players at times has become the norm around the league as more and more studies have shown it helps players perform at higher levels plus helps reduce injury risk. Still, Popovich is the poster child.
New Spur LaMarcus Aldridge wasn’t used to this but got introduced to it in a very Popovich way, reports Jeff McDonald at the Express-News.
LaMarcus Aldridge missed his first workout of training camp today with leg tightness. Or rather, the Spurs — being the Spurs — held him out for precautionary reasons.
“We sat him out,” coach Gregg Popovich said. “He didn’t want to do it. I said, ‘Welcome to the Spurs. Go sit.’”
He might as well have added “get used to this.” Aldridge is going to get some rest this season. Not as many as Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, and Tony Parker, but he’s going to get some nights off.
Remember, Aldridge is a guy who played through a torn ligament in his thumb last season because he thought the Blazers could make noise in the playoffs (and they might have had Wesley Matthews not gotten hurt). He’s not a guy used to being told to sit and rest.
It’s his “Welcome to the Spurs” moment.