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By Joseph White, AP Sports Writer

John Wall has missed about one-quarter of the games since he was the No. 1 overall pick in the NBA draft. He hasn’t been an All-Star. His team hasn’t won more than 29 games in a regular season.

Yet his game — and his team — got considerably better when he returned from an injury last season, and he remains the cornerstone of the Washington Wizards, who took the calculated risk Wednesday of signing the point guard to a contract extension. Two people familiar with the deal say it’s a max deal, worth about $80 million over five years.

The people spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the team’s announcement Wednesday did not reveal financial terms. A news conference will be held Thursday.

“He is the cornerstone of our team,” Wizards owner Ted Leonsis said in the team’s release announcing the extension. “And we have clearly expressed our desire to build around him.”

Wall was the top overall pick in the 2010 draft after playing one season of college basketball at Kentucky, immediately becoming the prime building block for a Wizards club that now has missed the playoffs each of the past five seasons.

He has averaged 16.9 points, eight assists, 4.4 rebounds and 1.5 steals in 35.8 minutes during his career, starting 172 of 184 games. Various injuries have caused him to miss an average of 21 games per season, and he appeared in only 42 in 2012-13 because of a stress injury in his left knee cap.

When he returned, the 22-year-old Wall averaged a career-high 18.5 points, along with 7.6 assists, four rebounds and 1.3 steals in 32.7 minutes. He really began to hit his stride late in the season, even showing some signs of developing into an outside shooter. The Wizards went 5-28 without him, 24-25 with him.

If Wall hadn’t been able to reach an agreement with the Wizards this offseason, he would have become an unrestricted free agent in 2014.

In the Wizards’ announcement, Wall said he will do “everything I can to get this team back where it belongs.”

5 Responses to John Wall signs “max deal” for about $80 million over five years with Wizards

  • BD WELLS says:

    OK! Now tell me again how bad this One and Done System is!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • LindaS says:

    Very wells said. I am so happy for him. Think how many UK basketball tickets that could buy for years and years! So proud of him. We knew he was good, Cal knew he was good and now the Wizards are showing faith in him. I hope they get some more guys to make the team better.

  • King Ghidora says:

    Way to go Wall!. I know you have the talent and the drive to become a great player. You’re already a mighty good player. If you had some talent with you on that team the sky would be the limit. Glad to see you doing well.

  • LindaS says:

    It was reported today that John UK Wall is donating $! million to charities in DC. Just makes me so proud. He sat at the knee of Cal for just one year but learned so much. It is important to give back. I am sure Cal is feeling good about this and it will make John UK Wall feel good for a long time! Go Cats!

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