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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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Source: Wizards will have competition with teams like Lakers, Clippers for restricted free agent Bobby Portis

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USA Today

Source: Wizards will have competition with teams like Lakers, Clippers for restricted free agent Bobby Portis

This summer is shaping up to be lucrative for NBA free agents and big man Bobby Portis is well-positioned to cash in. After spending the final three months of the 2018-19 season with the Wizards, Portis is already seeing a healthy market develop ahead of the June 30 start of the league's negotiating period, NBC Sports Washington has learned.

The Wizards are likely to first extend a qualifying offer on June 30 to make him a restricted free agent. According to Spotrac.com, it will be about $3.6 million and that will give the Wizards the right to match an offer sheet from another franchise.

But teams are already indicating they want Portis, who is just 24 and coming off a season in which he averaged a career-high 14.2 points and 8.1 rebounds in 50 games. That market includes 5-10 teams and could grow once free agency opens.

Portis is expected to draw interest from the Lakers, Clippers, Jazz, Bucks, Magic and Knicks among others, NBC Sports Washington has learned.

Despite restricted free agency, Portis has a few things working for him. For one, there are a lot of teams with cap room. Spending won't reach 2016 levels, when the new CBA spiked the salary cap, but there will a lot of money to go around.

Also, guys in Portis' tier will only be helped if the top free agent options continue to dwindle. Klay Thompson looks more likely than ever to stay in Golden State after tearing his ACL. Winning a title could increase the odds Kawhi Leonard re-signs in Toronto, according to reports. And Kevin Durant's torn Achilles has thrown a wrench into the plans of teams with the most money to spend.

There is also the possibility Kemba Walker stays in Charlotte. And Kyrie Irving signing with Brooklyn, if it happens, would leave others exploring backup plans.

Portis isn't directly competing with any of those players, but could benefit if the top options are off the market. His name will only move up the list if that is the case.

Portis also has a unique selling point going for him. He shot 39.3 percent from three this past season and held a 40.3 percent clip to close the year in his 28 games with the Wizards. Three-point shooting is more valuable than ever and he brings that to the table at 6-foot-10.

Portis, who averaged 3.8 three-point attempts per game this past season, was one of only six players 6-10 or taller to shoot at least 39 percent on 3.5 attempts or more (min. 50 G). 

The question for Portis will be whether he gets the money he wants. He turned down an extension with the Chicago Bulls last fall just hours before the deadline to sign one. According to the Chicago Tribune, the deal was worth about $50 million and he wants to be paid in the range of $16 million annually. His asking price was partly why the Bulls traded him to the Wizards in February.

Even if the Wizards clear money, and they are expected to free up some by declining Jabari Parker's $20 million team option by the June 29 deadline, Portis could price himself out of Washington. It might not even take $16 million per year for that to happen.

The Wizards are set to operate through free agency with interim team president Tommy Sheppard at the helm, as the Washington Post reported on Tuesday. Sheppard making the call increases Portis' odds of staying, but that doesn't mean the price will match for both sides.

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UNC's Coby White talks Wizards workout, North Carolina and John Wall's legendary mixtape

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UNC's Coby White talks Wizards workout, North Carolina and John Wall's legendary mixtape

In Tuesday's Wizards Talk podcast Chris Miller sat down with point guard Coby White, a projected lottery pick from the University of Carolina. 

On Monday, the Wizards worked out White and college teammate Nassir Little in the franchise's highest-profile workout this year. Despite being projected higher than No. 9, White was enthusiastic about the opportunity. 

"These mock drafts are cool, but it's not the real deal," explained White. "If I was to slip and Washington were to select me, I'd be in a great place."

White's passion combined with his impressive skill set enabled him to become the all-time leading scorer in North Carolina high school history. Growing up he followed John Wall, as did every hooper in North Carolina, and he still remembers Wall shredding apart defenses on his legendary high school mixtape. 

"His mixtape was lit," professed White. "The style he played with was uncomparable to anyone else."

What many people don't know about White was that growing up, his dream school was Duke. Once he got to Chapel Hill, however, Roy Williams, his teammates and UNC's winning tradition won him over in a heartbeat. 

"They didn't care how much you had coming in, Coach Williams never promised me playing time," said White. "He just promised me 'I'll be the hardest coach you ever had and I'll try my best to make you the best you can be.'"

At Thursday draft, White's life will be changed forever once he hears his name called and shakes Adam Silver's hand. For Wizards fans, hopefully, that won't happen before the No. 9 pick

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