Wizards players were among the many notables at the White House this morning for the annual Easter Egg Roll, and while Bradley Beal made his pitch for lower taxes to President Obama, a couple of his teammates appear focused on other ways to keep their bank accounts in order. Here's the latest on Washington's team:
- John Wall believes he's the ninth-best point guard in the league, but tries to explain to TNT's David Aldridge, who writes his Morning Tip column for NBA.com, why he believes he deserves a maximum-salary contract. "Well, I feel like I get what I deserve," the third-year point guard said. "I know what I play like. I think (the Wizards) understand what I've been through the first two years, having what I had. Not to talk bad on any of my teammates or any of the guys I've had. I just feel like some of them weren't very professional about their job. They didn't care about winning, to be honest."
- Wall feels better about his teammates this year, and said Washington's acquisition of veterans in the offseason has helped him warm to the idea of a long-term commitment to the Wizards. All things being equal, Aldridge doesn't believe Wall is a max player, but given the circumstances in Washington, he thinks a five-year deal worth $68.75MM, which would make Wall the team's designated player, would fit the bill.
- Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld also caught up with Wall, who offered further explanation on why he should get the max. "I’m not just going to base it on my play lately," he said. "I’m just talking about me in the future and how I want to change the organization around, making the playoffs and hopefully winning a championship here."
- Unless Emeka Okafor wanted to risk a significant paycut to sign with a contender, there's been little doubt he would elect to stay with the Wizards for next season and collect his $14.488MM salary rather than exercise his early-termination option for 2013/14. Okafor confirms his plan is to stay in D.C., as J. Michael of CSNWashington.com observes.
- Beal gave Grantland's Zach Lowe a wide-ranging interview that touched on his adjustment to the NBA and rumors earlier this season linking him to the Grizzlies in a potential Rudy Gay deal. "It is what it is. It’s a business. But I knew the (team) wasn’t going to trade me," Beal said.