"[Wall] is the cornerstone of our team, and we have clearly expressed our desire to build around him well before making it official by re-signing him today," owner Ted Leonsis said in a statement. "We are extremely confident in his leadership abilities and are excited to see the continued improvement of the team."
3:04pm: The Wizards and John Wall have officially reached agreement on a five-year maximum contract extension, reports Michael Lee of the Washington Post (via Twitter). The deal is expected to worth in the neighborhood of $80MM.
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports first reported last week that the Wizards and Wall were closing in on an agreement for a max extension, while other reporters, including Lee, added that the deal would likely be finalized this week. ESPN.com's Marc Stein noted yesterday that the Wizards hoped to hold a press conference on August 1st, and that timetable still appears to be on track, with J. Michael of CSNWashington.com tweeting that the team will make the official announcement tomorrow.
Agreeing to a five-year contract, rather than a four-year pact, will make Wall the Wizards' designated player, meaning the team can't sign any of their current players, such as Bradley Beal or Otto Porter, to a five-year extension when their rookie contracts expire. It will also make Wall the only NBA player under team control through 2019. The exact amount the Dan Fegan client will earn won't be known until next summer, but James Harden's similar max deal is worth about $78.78MM. So assuming the maximum salary increases a little again next July, $80MM is a reasonable estimate for Wall.
Wall, 2010's first overall pick, hasn't yet developed into the superstar many were expecting, but had his best run as a pro during the second half of 2012/13. In his final 26 games of the season, the 22-year-old averaged 22.7 PPG, 7.8 APG, and 4.8 RPG to go along with shooting percentages of .465/.344/.796. While the deal certainly isn't without risk, it's a risk the Wizards believe they have to take, as Lee wrote earlier today.
With Emeka Okafor's and Trevor Ariza's contracts set to expire next summer, the team will still maintain some cap flexibility even as Wall's new deal takes effect. If Wall earns a salary in the ballpark of $14MM in the first year of his extension, the Wizards should still only have a little over $50MM on their books for 2014/15.
Although Wall is set to become the first player from the 2010 draft class to ink a long-term extension, there are still plenty of eligible candidates. DeMarcus Cousins, Paul George, Eric Bledsoe, Derrick Favors, and Larry Sanders are among the other players expected to engage in extension talks this offseason, if they haven't already.