An hour before the Washington Wizards’ summer league team played the Golden State Warriors on Saturday at Cox Pavilion in Las Vegas, John Wall and Bradley Beal were on one of side of the main court at the nearby Thomas & Mack Center, building up a lather and working on their jump shots and ballhandling with assistant coach Ryan Saunders and developmental coach Joe Connelly. Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld and Coach Randy Wittman were off to the side, observing and chatting as Wall and Beal ran around screens, sprinted to designated spots and took shots from both foul line elbows, the corners and the top of the key. They took breathers, with one taking free throws and the other doing dribbling drills. “I need to be in the playoffs,” Wall said in a brief interview after the Wizards’ loss to Golden State. “Leaving the season early every year is not fun, it’s no excitement, just going home and watching basketball.” Grunfeld has repeated that the Wizards plan to keep Wall within the organization for a long time and has until October to lock up the former No. 1 overall pick with an extension. According to a league source with knowledge of the situation, the Wizards have already engaged in discussions with Wall’s agent, Dan Fegan, about getting a deal done. Wall is eligible for a five-year deal worth about $79.5 million. The Wizards added Otto Porter Jr. and Glen Rice Jr. in last month’s NBA draft, signed Eric Maynor as Wall’s primary backup and brought back Martell Webster this offseason. Wall, the longest-tenured player on the roster, has been encouraged by the moves and the roster overall since he arrived in 2010.
Washington Wizards’ John Wall: ‘I need to be in the playoffs’
Washington Post | Jul 16