Wizards guard John Wall can sign a contract extension this year, sign an extension next year or become an unrestricted free agent in 2019. No matter when he signs – because he’s still under contract for two more seasons – the new terms would take effect in 2019-20.
When will he lock in?
By making the All-NBA third team, Wall became eligible to sign a designated-veteran-player contract extension with Washington this summer. But because he has two years left on his current deal ($18,063,850 in 2017-18 and $19,169,800 in 2018-19), an extension could add just four years to his contract.
This is the only time Wall is guaranteed be eligible for a designated-veteran-player salary, though. He could add five years at the designated-veteran-player rate by making All-NBA in 2017-18 or 2018-19, but that’s obviously no guarantee.
Does Wall want to sign now, even for fewer years, while he’s designated-veteran-player eligible? Do the Wizards want to give him that higher max in order to secure his services for just four additional years?
An extension with Wall will be the top priority of the offseason in which Otto Porter is also a restricted free agent, league sources tell CSNmidatlantic.com.
From league sources close to the situation, Wall wants to see a bigger picture plan on where the franchise is headed before committing for longer.
Wall has never advanced past the second round, and he sounded disappointed in his supporting cast after the Wizards lost to the Celtics in this year’s second round. He has also expressed unhappiness about his lack of popularity in Washington.
But that’s a lot of money to turn down. Wall can’t simply pencil himself onto another All-NBA team is this guard-dominant league.
A designated-veteran-player projects to be worth $217 million over five years. If Wall plays out his contract without making an All-NBA team the next two years, his projected max – even if he re-signs with the Wizards – projects be worth $186 million over five years. That’s a $31 million difference!*
*Using Albert Nahmad’s $107 million salary-cap projection for 2019-20
Would Wall take such a large financial risk?
He must weigh his priorities (security vs. flexibility, staying in Washington vs. leaving) and his chances of making another All-NBA team in a league with Stephen Curry, James Harden, Russell Westbrook, Isaiah Thomas, DeMar DeRozan, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jimmy Butler, Chris Paul, Kyrie Irving, Damian Lillard, Kyle Lowry, Klay Thompson and Kemba Walker.
Here’s a flowchart showing Wall’s possible outcomes and what his max contract projects to be in each scenario: