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How John Wall’s Extension Could Make the Wizards a Contender in the Future

By locking down their superstar long term, the championship window is officially open in Washington

By Dan O'SheaPublished 7 years ago 4 min read

It’s easy to have major moves lost amongst the shuffle that has been the NBA offseason. If a superstar isn’t moved or bridges aren’t being set ablaze, it’s like a transaction isn’t even made. Wall’s extension to most meant he was one superstar who won’t be rumored to team up with anyone in the future.

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It was an easy decision for Wall to head back to Washington, just like it was easy to sweep this news under the rug while the rumor mill had a faster pace than any game you saw this season.

That was until he claimed he’d be bringing a title to D.C.

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Even this didn’t really gauge the interest of many this offseason, which is somewhat understandable. Wall claiming he’d be bringing hardware home after this team failed to get out of the second round is like a fly buzzing around a 13,000 pound African bush elephant and trying to knock it over. Sure the buzzing may be unpleasant at times, but it’s never seen as a threat. Yet before you know it, that fly could be the one winning multiple Eastern Conference titles.

It always has been and always will be a superstar driven league. For the longest time, Wall has been one of the most underappreciated stars in the NBA. Every single time he touches the court, Wall quietly puts up absurd stats that don’t get the national recognition they deserve. If you’re a fan of numbers, he passes that test, increasing his points, assists, and steals per game each of the last three seasons while finishing with the highest field goal percentage of his career. If you’re a fan of the eye test, he passes that too, seamlessly giving fans at least one play for his always growing highlight reel each and every game.

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If Wall is going to bring Washington to the NBA Finals, he may have to be the best player on the court for an entire series. Considering the fact that he’s heading into his prime, it’s not an enormous stretch to say that’s possible unless he’s playing LeBron James. Yes, saying he’s the best now is a bit of a stretch, but it’s hard to count out a player who has gotten better each and every season and is heading into the prime of his career.

For those who think Wall may never get to that point where he can carry a team to the point where he’s considered one of the most dominant players in the league, he’s already doing so. Just look at his numbers compared to the numbers of the last point guard to win MVP, Derrick Rose.

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That’s not far off at all. If players like Russell Westbrook and James Harden weren’t doing things the NBA has never seen before, Wall would’ve been in the MVP conversation. People may never give him the attention he deserves as one of the most talented and dynamic players in the NBA today, but if he starts making some legitimate noise in the Eastern Conference they’ll have to.

For the first time in years, there’s a very good chance for a team not named the Cleveland Cavaliers to make the NBA Finals. Right now, it looks like Kyrie Irving is out the door after requesting a trade and essentially alienating himself from the entire front office, the roster, and anyone that has an Ohio driver’s license. This time next year, LeBron could be next to join the all-out war in the Western Conference, leaving an open seat in the NBA Finals with the Warriors patiently waiting to see who they’ll take on next.

Boston is clearly the biggest threat, considering they were the №1 overall seed in the East last year, made the Conference Finals by getting past Washington in seven games, and got better this offseason. The difference between Washington and Boston is the youth of their core. The Celtics big three of Horford, Thomas, and Hayward are far from aging, but the Wizards core is right in the middle of their prime.

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Bradley Beal and Otto Porter will have to get better for this group to be considered a “big three”. No one expects them to be a Warriors-level group, but they can certainly grow to become a unit that can surpass that of the Celtics. All three are under contract until 2021. Wall is only 26, while Porter and Bradley are both just 24. That puts the core right in the middle of their prime years until their deals are up, while Isaiah Thomas and Al Horford will be on the wrong side of 30.

Unless Boston trades some of their young talent like Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum or any of their top draft picks for a proven superstar, it’s completely possible for the Wizards to pass them in the Eastern Conference. Wall will be the best player on the court for that entire series, and has not even reached his ceiling.

You may be laughing now at Wall promising to bring a title home, but you won’t be laughing as much when he’s taking on the Warriors in June.


About the Creator

Dan O'Shea

Staff Writer at The Unbalanced. Aspiring trophy husband. Can be found arguing hot takes and hating Spike Lee. Stay positive, test negative.

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