John Wall is among those that inked a max extension this summer that will total more that $200 million over five years. It’s a big chunk of change and a strong commitment from the Wizards to their star point guard to ensure he gets through most of his prime years still in Washington.
For Wall, it’s confirmation that he belongs among the game’s elite. He tends to be on the outside looking in of conversations about the league’s best point guards, as Russell Westbrook, Steph Curry, Chris Paul, and James Harden (depending on how you categorize him after last season) tend to get those top spots before you reach the debate over Wall and Kyrie Irving.
This summer, Wall’s spent his time working out in Miami and he got a fairly recent drop-in from LeBron James for a workout session. Ball Is Life shot video of Wall and James — and Kelly Oubre Jr. — running through drills and got Wall’s thoughts on getting to work with the best in the world.
Wall said he loves having guys like LeBron come through because he likes to prove that he’s one of the best in the league and that he thinks he can be as good as anyone when he gets on the court.
While Wall’s confidence is sky high, he understands that he still has work to do to crack into the rankings of the elite in the NBA. When asked where he feels he belongs, Wall said he’s a top 10 player in the NBA, but not quite top 5, and listed off the five he thinks are firmly ahead of him (although not necessarily in order).
Wall lists Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard, and Steph Curry as his top 5 list of current NBA players, and he’s not going to get too many arguments on that list. The only “snub,” if there even is one, would be James Harden, but I’m sure Wall would place him pretty close after those five. Wall said he wasn’t sure exactly where he belonged in the Top 10, but that he was confident he was in that elite company.
Wall also called himself the best two-way point guard in the league, meaning a combination of skills on offense and defense, and when that nugget from the video hit social media, it got the approval of workout partner LeBron James, as well as J.R. Smith and Paul Pierce.
The Wizards’ star guard doesn’t lack for confidence, but he more than backs it up on the court as he has emerged as one of the league’s top stars and is coming into 2017-18 looking to build on a career-year in which he averaged 23.1 points and 10.7 assists per game, leading the Wizards to the Eastern Conference Semifinals.