By Joe Civiello (@Jello2222)
Every year it seems the price tag on the best NBA players goes up. This year has been no different. Stephen Curry reached a five-year, $201 million extension with the Golden State Warriors last month, and Kyle Lowry re-signed with the Toronto Raptors on a three-year, $100 million deal. We’ve even seen Paul George traded to the Thunder, Jimmy Butler to the Timberwolves, and this weekend Kyrie Irving requested a trade from Cleveland. You would have thought the Wizards won the NBA Finals on Friday night if you didn’t know any better. John Wall got into the mix and signed his four-year, $170 million super max extension and D.C. fans haven’t stopped smiling since. This news was somewhat unexpected because Wall could have waited and made $50 million more next summer if he was chosen for an All-NBA team again in 2018. Wall’s extension comes just days after the Wizards matched the Brooklyn Nets offer sheet for Otto Porter of four years, $106 million.
These moves show the loyalty Wall has for the team and the city of D.C. The moves also show loyalty from team ownership and management. This season marks the first time owner Ted Leonsis will likely have to pay the luxury tax for the Wizards. The salary cap for each team in the NBA is about $99 million and the luxury tax line is about $119 million. The Wizards payroll is currently $116 million while looking to potentially add a couple more players.
The team should naturally progress with Head Coach Scott Brooks going into his second season. As of right now, the team has added foward Mike Scott, shooting guard Jodie Meeks, and point guard Tim Frazier to help bolster the bench unit. Meeks and Scott should immediately help with shooting, and Frazier is a terrific playmaker with room to grow as a shooter. Devin Robinson and Michael Young participated on the Wizards’ Summer League team and have been given two-way contracts to play in the G-League as well as the Wizards, but their roles will be very small in the NBA right now.
The national media is skeptical of what this team can do moving forward, but let me put in perspective how young this core is:
- John Wall-26
- Bradley Beal-24
- Otto Porter-24
- Kelly Oubre-21
- Markieff Morris-27
- Tim Frazier-26
- Tomas Satoransky-25
- Ian Mahinmi-30
- Marcin Gortat-33
With Beal and Porter most likely under contract until 2021 and John Wall on the books until 2023, the future is bright. The Wizards haven’t had this much upward stability in franchise history. They are a couple bench players and a star away from competing for a ring. Whether that star is on the roster at the moment remains to be seen. Regardless, it’s now up to John Wall to bring a championship to the city of D.C. If he delivers on that promise, we might see another monument in the nation’s capital.