Everything in due time: first the global tour, then the national-team tryout and thenthe contract negotiations.
Things are happening fast for Wizards point guard John Wall this summer, which really is no surprise, given that the No. 1 pick in the 2010 draft has been synonymous with speed since high school. The questions about Wall have always centered on refinement, not raw talent. He can dunk with either hand at a full sprint in transition, but can he master the pick-and-roll? He can seamlessly execute dribble moves in traffic, but can he control his turnovers? He can outquick and outjump just about everyone at his position, but can he extend the range on his jumper and be the consistent focal point of an above-average offense? He can dominate highlight reels, but does he bring the total package required to evolve into a franchise player?
After missing the first two months of the 2012-13 season with a knee injury, Wall got to work on those questions, leading the Wizards to a 24-25 record when he was on the court compared to 5-28 when he was out. That strong close to the season was enough to persuade management to keep the core together in pursuit of the franchise’s first postseason appearance since 2008.
“I just need to be in the playoffs. That’s my only goal,” Wall said Tuesday after practice at a USA Basketball minicamp. “Fourth year going in, I need to have a full, healthy season and make the playoffs. That’s all I’m looking forward to.”
Well, that and the possibility of a lucrative contract extension. CSNWashington.com reported earlier this month that Wizards officials and Wall’s agent have opened talks on his rookie extension, which could net him about $80 million over five years. Wall told SI.com that he expected those conversations to pick up after the Team USA camp ends Thursday.
“I don’t know,” Wall said when asked where the negotiations stand. “I haven’t even talked to [the Wizards] about it. We’ll figure it out when I’m done with this. … I feel like my organization and fron- office people do a great job, my agent [does] a great job of handling that. My main thing is just to enjoy myself while I’m here at the USA minicamp. Just knowing I’ve got my country across my chest, it’s the biggest thing to me.”