Washington Wizards superstar John Wall remembers the scrutiny after signing a max contract worth $80 million two years ago. On Tuesday, the point guard discussed the changing landscape of contracts in the NBA and how it altered the outlook of his deal.
J. Michael of CSN Washington noted the comments from Wall, who used the recent signing of Reggie Jackson to make his point.
"People talk about me getting $80 million, now you got people getting $85 million that haven't made the All-Star (Game) or anything like that," Wall said. "I guess they came in at the right time. That new CBA kicked in and they're good now. Reggie Jackson gets five years, $80 million. I'm getting the same as Reggie Jackson."
The current collective bargaining agreement is working out well for the players. The salary cap continues to rise, which leads to larger contracts, and the projections are for a significant jump once the new television deals come into play.
That's why players like Jackson, a solid asset who averaged 14.5 points last season but not a top-tier talent, are able to make the same amount as Wall. The available cap space increases, and teams desperate to fill voids on their roster are willing to pay.
|John Wall vs. Reggie Jackson for 2014-15 Season|
The ability to keep earning more money has also led LeBron James to sign short-term deals, giving him a chance to opt out each summer to maximize his earnings until that huge increase arrives. Then he can back up the Brink's truck and collect a monster payday.
There's some risk that comes with the approach, of course. Any type of significant injury could derail the plan, but he's clearly willing to bet on himself and his body holding up.
Although the relative earnings between two players don't always match up, Wall said he's not mad at the players for taking the deals, per CSN Washington.
"That's what happens," Wall said. "But I'm happy for all those guys. To see anybody get the opportunity to live their dream out, get the opportunity to take care of their family when they can, it's a blessing."
Wall can't hit the open market again until 2019, according to Spotrac. He's going to make a lot of money before then, reaching a peak of more than $19 million for the 2018-19 campaign, but given his talent and the cap increases, he'll still be missing out on a lot.
The bottom line is that being a free agent pays extremely well, even for those outside the league's upper echelon. And it seems it's only going to become more lucrative over the next few years.