John Wall isn’t going to sign that dotted line unless the Washington Wizards front office made an effort to bolster their bench this off-season. Wall, who is now eligible for a designated veteran player extension after being named into the All-NBA third team this season, addressed the need to fortify their bench whom he believed was the weakest link in the Wizards’ Eastern Conference semis series vs. the Boston Celtics this year and the Atlanta Hawks two years ago.

Wall demands better bench

In an interview with Comcast Sportsnet, Wall stressed that upgrading their bench unit should come as the top priority for the Wizards this summer. Wall and the Wizards were one win away from advancing to the Eastern Conference finals, but they fell flat against the Celtics in Game 7. “We need to help our bench. Just to be honest, that was our downfall in each series that we had in the [Eastern Conference] semifinals, our bench got out played.”

The 26-year old Wall bounced back from a rough start to have a terrific 2016/17 season, averaging 23.1 points on 45 percent FG shooting (32 percent from the 3-point line) along with 10.7 assists in 36 minutes per game. Because of his inclusion in the All-NBA team, Wall will receive an additional $75 million should he sign a contract extension with the Wizards.

Potential FA targets for Wizards’ bench

J.Michael of CSN MidAtlantic ran through a list of potential free agency targets for the Wizards this summer. Washington enters the off-season with their current payroll ($91.9 guaranteed salaries for 2017/18 seasons) above the salary cap. Their financial flexibility is expected to get worse if they sign restricted free agent wingman Otto Porter to a max contract extension.

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However, the Wizards front office can still bring in some talent via mid-level, bi-annual and minimum salary exceptions.

Some of the prominent names on the list are J.J Reddick of the Los Angeles Clippers and Patty Mills of the San Antonio Spurs. Unfortunately, these guards are projected to get a significant pay-hike in their next contracts, making them off in the Wizards’ price range. However, the Wizards could look at veteran playmaker Deron Williams, banger Patrick Patterson, shooter Kyle Korver, hustler Jonas Jerebko and glue-guy James Johnson.

Unrestricted free-agent big man Donatas Motiejunas has expressed interest in playing for contenders such as the San Antonio Spurs, Golden State Warriors and the Wizards.

The sweet-shooting Lithuanian big man disclosed that he’s receiving mutual interest from these top-tier teams as well.

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