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John Wall remains undecided about signing extension with Wizards, commits to better conditioning

John Wall remains undecided about signing extension with Wizards, commits to better conditioning

LAS VEGAS -- The designated veteran player extension remains on the table for John Wall to sign with the Wizards, which would be a maximum four-year extension to his current deal if he signs it before the 2017-18 regular season. He's not in a rush to do it and put some of the focus on himself to be better prepared. 

As CSN reported two months ago, Wall is the Wizards' top priority but he also wanted to see a bigger picture before making such a major decison. Wall confirmed that with Monday's comments.

The Wizards began last season 2-8 in their first season with coach Scott Brooks, rebounded to finish 49-33 and advanced to Game 7 of the conference semifinals. 

[RELATED: John Wall stands by recruitment of Paul George]

"Not yet," Wall said of making a decision on what to do entering his eighth season. "Everybody knows where I want to be. ...We've been in the same position over and over. We finally found a way to get over that hump with us as indivduals, as players, coaching staff, GM, everybody we got to make ourselves better. We got to improve. Everybody has to improve every year. I got to improve and be in better shape and condition to be able to close out games so I won't be fatigued."

Wall, who has two years left on a five-year deal that was an $80 million max at the time he signed it, had surgeries to both knees after the Wizards missed the playoffs in 2015-16. Brooks told his point guard, who made the All-NBA team for the first time in his career, that he wanted him to get his weight down during their rocky start.

While watching the Wizards lose to the Miami Heat 91-87 behind a team-high 18 points from Sheldon Mac in their second Las Vegas summer league game, Wall looked substantially more fit. He'll return to Los Angeles to continue his offseason workout program before going to Miami where he plans to wrap up before training camp.

The Wizards are 0-2 in summer league. Jared Cunningham had 16 points off the bench and Chris McCullough had a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds. They'll play their final game of group play Tuesday vs. the Chicago Bulls. 

[RELATED: Wall is finally getting the attention he deserves as a superstar]

 

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How drawing up a play in the interview process helped sell the Wizards on Troy Brown

How drawing up a play in the interview process helped sell the Wizards on Troy Brown

While meeting with Oregon's Troy Brown during the pre-draft interview process, evaluators from the Washington Wizards issued him an on-the-spot challenge. Head coach Scott Brooks pulled out a dry-erase clipboard and a pen. He wanted to see Brown draw up a play.

This is a test Brooks has administered before to other players. Some have failed miserably.

"It sounds easy to throw a board at somebody in front of a big group and say 'okay draw a play' and I have seen many plays drawn, and I have seen it where there are not five players on the floor," Brooks said.

That wasn't the case with Brown. He didn't just draw up one play, he drew up several. One in particular came to mind when asked by reporters on Thursday night soon after the Wizards took him 15th overall in the first round of the NBA Draft.

“I think it was a situation where we were down by two or something like that," he said. "It was like a back screen into a slip, and then the fade three and they gave you a lot of various options to cause mismatches on the court for a last minute shot to either go ahead, or even attack the basket for a layup to go into overtime.”

NBC Sports Washington analyst Cory Alexander, a veteran of seven NBA seasons, demonstrated what Brown's play looked like on a whiteboard:

The Xs and Os of basketball flow effortlessly for Brown and Wizards' brass couldn't help but be impressed.

"He really understands the game. I think for a kid that is 18 years old, that is rare but he just has a good feel," Brooks said. 

"We were impressed with his character and the type of person he is and his basketball knowledge," team president Ernie Grunfeld said. "Obviously, like any young player, he has a lot of work to do but he has a lot of the intangibles that I think you need in today's game."

Smarts are a big part of what makes Brown a good basketball player. He isn't a particularly explosive athlete, with a modest 33-inch max vertical leap, but he boasts a 6-foot-10 wingspan and solid agility. Being in the right place at the right time and knowing how to operate an offense help him make the most of his natural abilities.

Passing is where his basketball IQ comes in handy. Brown is unusually good at distributing for a 6-foot-7 small forward. He averaged 3.2 assists as a freshman at Oregon and nine times had five assists or more in a game.

He can pass like a point guard and the Wizards are excited to implement that skill into their offense.

"Passing is contagious. We’ve been pretty good the last two years and with talking about that how we even want to take another step," Brooks said. "He has the ability to make a lot of quick plays and his ball handling is pretty good for a guy his size. That is one thing I was impressed in his workout last week or when we had him. He is able to take the contact and use his strong frame to get inside the key and make plays.”

MORE 2018 NBA DRAFT COVERAGE:

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Wizards Tipoff podcast: Breaking down the Wizards' 2018 draft class

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USA TODAY Sports

Wizards Tipoff podcast: Breaking down the Wizards' 2018 draft class

On the latest episode of the Wizards Tipoff podcast presented by Greenberg and Bederman, Chase Hughes and Chris Miller analyze the Wizards' two picks the night of the draft.

They went in-depth on first round pick Troy Brown, Jr. and why the Wizards took him when some big names were still on the board. They also broke down why the Wizards chose to pick a draft-and-stash guy in the second round.

You can listen to the episode right here:

You can download the podcast on Apple Podcasts right here and on Google Play. If you like the show please tell your friends!