- The Washington Times - Friday, July 21, 2017

When Wizards owner Ted Leonsis met the media Wednesday for Otto Porter’s press conference, he emphasized he wanted talk of contracts and dollars to be over. Even regarding superstar John Wall, Leonsis was ready to have chatter stop. He predicted that Wall would sign the long-term extension the team had offered. The owner’s goal was to have no drama.

On Friday, Leonsis turned out to be right.

The Wizards and Wall agreed to a four-year, $170 million “supermax” contract, a source confirmed to the Washington Times’ Todd Dybas. Wall was eligible for the extension, which can only be granted to two players on a roster, because he he was named third-team All-NBA team last season and had been drafted by Washington.

The deal starts in 2019, when Wall’s previous contract expires, and will keep him in Washington through the 2022-23 season.

“You know I wasn’t going nowhere,” Wall said in a video posted on Twitter. “We signed with the Wizards, man, signed my extension. You know where I want to be. I love it in D.C. I love the organization, love my teammates, love the amazing fans. I just had to think it out with my family and friends. Made a decision. You know I wanted to be there.

“I’m happy I’m coming back — another four years to be a Washington Wizard. Y’all know what I’m going for. I’m definitely going to bring ya’ll that championship, that’s my ultimate goal. I’m not going to stop until I get it. Peace and love.”

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Wall’s contract includes a player option for the fourth year and a 15 percent trade kicker.

The Wizards reportedly first offered Wall the extension at the end of June, according to ESPN. The two parties had until the beginning of the season to accept the terms. If Wall had turned the deal down, he couldn’t be offered the same contract unless he made an All-NBA team again next season.

The news came on a day where multiple outlets reported Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving had demanded a trade to be the focal point of another team. Irving, the 2011 No.1 overall pick, gave Cleveland a list of teams he preferred.

But unlike Irving, Wall committed to the team that drafted him with the first overall pick in 2010.

Since then, Wall has blossomed as the face of D.C. basketball. He is a four-time All-Star who has also won the NBA Cares Award for his work in the community.

With Wall, the Wizards have made the playoffs three times — all of which have occurred in the last four years. Each season, Wall and the Wizards advanced to the second round of the playoffs.

Wall had his signature moment as a Wizard this postseason when he hit a game winning 3-pointer against the Boston Celtics to force a Game 7. The Wizards ended up losing that series, but the image of Wall jumping on the scorer’s table and celebrating with the Verizon Center crowd will remain etched in the memory of Wizards fans.

Despite Wall’s success with the Wizards, many still speculated over his long-term future in Washington. NBA superstars like Wall have a recent history of changing teams. Chris Paul, Jimmy Butler and Paul George were the latest to do so. All three moves were trades, but their respective teams don’t make those moves if the threat of free agency didn’t loom.

Wall chose to take free agency out of the equation, and it’s something Leonsis was confident the superstar was going to do.

“My prediction is John Wall will sign his extension,” Leonsis, the owner of Monumental Sports & Entertainment, told reporters Wednesday. “He wants to be here. And my goal is to have no drama. [The media is] in the entertainment business. You need narrative and drama. I’m not in the entertainment business. I just want to win some games.”

Wall, 26, averaged a career-high 23.1 points and 10.7 assists per game last season.

He will be the highest-paid player on the Wizards going forward, ending Porter’s brief tenure as such. Wall has $37 million and two years left remaining on his previous contract, in addition to the four new years he attached Friday.

This offseason, the Wizards have re-signed Wall and Porter to max contracts. They also traded for backup guard Tim Frazier and signed veterans Jodie Meeks and Mike Scott. Washington will have contracts committed north of $125 million for the next two seasons and will be in the luxury tax threshold for the first time.

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