One of the biggest contracts of the 2013 NBA offseason is about to be signed. According to multiple reports, the Washington Wizards and John Wall are on the verge of agreeing to a five-year, $80 million extension.
Wall would become a restricted free agent in 2014 if not for the new deal. The point guard gets a max-contract after battling through injuries in the first three years of his career. Last season, he missed 33 games, but had the best year of his career, averaging 18.5 points, 7.6 assists and 4.0 rebounds per game. With Wall off the market next year, Paul George is the biggest name that could become a restricted free agent in 2014.
Even though he was still under contract for one more year, Wall signed an extension before a few of this year’s second tier free agents have even found a home. Leading the way is Brandon Jennings, who has indicated that he thought he could get a maximum contract like Wall. It is almost a month into free agency and he still remains unsigned.
The most likely scenario has Jennings returning to the Milwaukee Bucks. The club lost out on their bid to acquire Jeff Teague when the Atlanta Hawks matched their offer sheet, and they are without a starting point guard. Milwaukee also needs to replace the backcourt production of Monta Ellis, who has officially signed with the Dallas Mavericks.
Milwaukee would like to bring back Jennings at around $8 million per season, which is what they offered Teague. If Jennings doesn’t come down to their price, however, the Bucks appear ready to move on. Last week, Gery Woelfel of the Racine Journal Times reported that the Bucks are looking at other point guards.
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Gary Neal might be at the top of Milwaukee’s list as a possible replacement for Jennings. According to Woelfel, the organization is still interested in the former San Antonio Spurs backup, who became an unrestricted free agent when the Western Conference champs withdrew their qualifying offer. Playing behind Tony Parker, Neal averaged 9.5 points and 1.9 assists in 21.8 minutes per contest. He has 25 starts in his three-year career.
Greg Oden hasn’t played in over three years, but he is one of the most in-demand big men on the market. The former No.1 draft pick has drawn interest from the Miami Heat, Sacramento Kings, Atlanta Hawks, New Orleans Pelicans, San Antonio Spurs and Dallas Mavericks. A source tells Yahoo! Sports that he will decide where to sign next week.