John Wall on Wizards Players: 'A Lot of Times Guys Don't Understand Their Role'

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistApril 29, 2018

Washington Wizards guard John Wall (2) looks a the Toronto Raptors bench in the second half of Game 6 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Friday, April 27, 2018, in Washington. The Raptors won 102-92. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Alex Brandon/Associated Press

Washington Wizards star John Wall vented his frustrations with his teammates following their first-round NBA playoff exit at the hands of the Toronto Raptors on Friday.

Wall discussed how he feels the need to continue improving each offseason since he's the unquestioned leader. He added his teammates need to have the same feeling, per ESPN.com's Ohm Youngmisuk:

"But at the same time, if I am doing my part, the other 14 guys have to do their part of getting better every year, just being true to the team. I think probably we have a lot of times guys don't understand their role and respect their role ... you can't keep going up and down every year, all year, and that is what we have been dealing with since I have been here."

Wall also suggested the front office should strengthen the roster in the offseason. Youngmisuk wrote, "an athletic big, a scorer capable of creating his own shot off the bench and more depth at small forward behind Otto Porter Jr. and Kelly Oubre Jr." are what Wall hopes the team can add.

While Wall's frustration is understandable after such a disappointing playoff result, The Action Network's Matt Moore thought the 27-year-old's critiques were slightly misplaced:

The problem for the Wizards is they have little salary-cap space with which general manager Ernie Grunfeld can make any improvements.

The trio of Wall, Bradley Beal and Porter are set to make $70.5 million on their own in 2018-19. Even assuming Grunfeld can find a way to shed the contracts of Ian Mahinmi ($15.9 million) or Marcin Gortat ($13.5 million), Washington is stuck.

Wall's max extension starts to kick in with the 2019-20 season as well, so his salary will climb from $19.1 million next season to $37.8 million.

To some extent, one can't blame Wall for mistakes made by the front office, which have in turn put the franchise in its current predicament. At the same time, throwing his teammates under the bus may not be an advisable strategy for Wall after another dysfunctional season.

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