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Wizards' John Wall lands new endorsement deal on heels of career-best season

Wizards' John Wall lands new endorsement deal on heels of career-best season

John Wall's career year on the court is starting to pay dividends off it. Wall announced on Instagram last week that he has signed on as a brand ambassador for New Era caps. 

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New Era's partnership with the NBA includes a number of high-profile players. Along with Wall, New Era added Draymond Green and D'Angelo Russell as brand ambassadors in May.

Paul George has been with the hat company for several seasons and has his own line of designs. 

Wall's partnership with New Era comes on the heels of a career-best season with the Wizards, which lasted into the second round of the NBA Playoffs. 

The four-time All-Star averaged a double-double with 23.1 points and 10.7 assists per game. He added 2.01 steals per game on top of that, good for second-most in the NBA behind New Era compatriot Green. 

MORE WIZARDS:  Wizards' NBA Draft prospects

In early May, Fox Sports Radio host Colin Cowherd pointed to a lack of endorsement deals as part of his argument that Wall lacks "starpower."

The rant was ill-timed given that Wall's season was bound to draw attention from companies looking to attach themselves to stars. 

An All-NBA Third Team selection (ahead of guys like Kyrie Irving, who has many more endorsements) and this partnership with New Era all came less than a month after Cowherd's criticism. 

The point guard has gone two seasons without a shoe deal after his contract with Adidas, which produced his JWall signature shoe, expired in the fall of 2015. The two sides couldn't agree to an extension. 

Now with Wall more famous and celebrated than ever before, it seems unlikely he'll remain a sneaker free agent too much longer. 

MORE WIZARDS: Wall says another point guard, not Ball or Fultz, will have best NBA career

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Wizards are nearing important decision involving Jordan McRae's two-way contract

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Wizards are nearing important decision involving Jordan McRae's two-way contract

The Washington Wizards return to action after the All-Star break with their next game on Friday against the Hornets. Not long after that, they could have an important roster decision to make.

Guard Jordan McRae is nearing the end of his 45-day two-way clock. Players signed to two-way contracts are allowed a maximum of 45 days at the NBA level and McRae has only nine remaining, according to a person familiar with the situation. 

Once those nine days are up, he will not be allowed to play for the Wizards until the regular season ends for the Capital City Go-Go, their G-League affiliate. The Go-Go play their final game on March 23.

After those 45 days, the Wizards would also have the option to convert McRae's two-way deal to a standard NBA contract. But it appears unlikely they will do that based on the fact they have just $153,433 separating them from the luxury tax threshold (estimate via Spotrac). They just made a pair of trades to get out of the luxury tax and have no plans of going back in.

The 45-day clock has some specific rules that could help the Wizards' cause. Travel days do not count against the 45-day limit and neither do off-days on the road. Five of the Wizards' first eight games out of the break are away from Washington.

The 45 days are also not counted until G-League training camp, which generally begins about a month after NBA camps open. So, the 45-day maximum can technically be stretched to around 70 over the course of a full NBA season.

McRae, 27, has appeared in 19 games for the Wizards after joining them as a free agent last summer. He is averaging 4.3 points in 9.1 minutes at the NBA level.

He has been a star for the Go-Go, averaging 29.9 points (most in the G-League), 5.3 rebounds and 3.9 assists. He was named a G-League mid-season All-Star.

Surely, McRae would like an NBA contract, but it's worth noting he gets paid more money the more time he spends with the Wizards. Two-way players can earn roughly $300,000 more by playing out their 45 allotted days in the NBA.

Also, the Wizards would like to keep him beyond this season, according to someone with knowledge of their plans. They see him as part of a growing group of players they would like to retain that is headlined by Tomas Satoransky and Thomas Bryant. To keep McRae, they can make him a restricted free agent.

If the Wizards don't convert his contract, however, McRae will not be eligible for the playoffs this spring, if Washington is to qualify.

At this point, it appears likely the Wizards avoid McRae's 45-day clock from expiring. In order to do that, they may have to keep him down with the Go-Go for much longer than they would prefer to.

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Former Wizards center Brendan Haywood reflects on his time spent with Michael Jordan in D.C.

Former Wizards center Brendan Haywood reflects on his time spent with Michael Jordan in D.C.

Former longtime Washington Wizard Brendan Haywood sat down with Chris Miller in Charlotte for one all-encompassing Wizards Talk podcast interview you'll want to hear. 

After a four-year career in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Haywood declared for the NBA Draft and was selected by the Cavaliers with the 20th overall pick before being traded to the Orlando Magic, who then sent him to Washington. 

His rookie year (2001-02) just so happened to be the first of two seasons in Washington for one Michael Jordan. Jordan, well past his prime during this time, still left quite an impression on the rookie, even after all these years later. 

You really got to see the myth behind all the greatness. He wasn't good by accident. You got to see a guy that's 40 years old still get to the gym at 8 o'clock working on his game. 

The big man's best statistical season in Washington came during the 2007-08 campaign, where he averaged 10.6 points, 7.2 rebounds, 1.7 blocks while shooting it over 50 percent from the floor. 

To listen to Haywood's full interview, click the podcast below.

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