John Wall will pay coach $100 for every two-plus turnover game

John Wall's turnovers are a problem, but they're also what make him so great.
Tom Szczerbowski/Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sport

The Washington Wizards are John Wall’s team. He’s the best point guard in the Eastern Conference, and a growing leader on and off the court. But Wall’s game isn’t perfect. His jumper is inconsistent, he still can’t space the floor and turnovers are an issue.

Wall’s sometimes-heedless decision-making isn’t a crippling flaw, but Washington’s coaching staff believes it’s kept him from reaching his full potential. Entering his sixth season, here’s how they incentivized Wall to take better care of the basketball, per The Washington Post:

He worked on post-ups and floaters during the summer, and he plans to utilize them more often this season. He also wants to improve his shot selection and turnover rate. To incentivize the cause, Wall will pay assistant coach Howard Eisley $100 for every game he commits more than two turnovers. Worst-case scenario, that’s a $8,200 loss.

Wall led the NBA in turnovers during the 2011-12 and 2013-14 seasons. He finished second only to James Harden last year. 

They’re a problem, but is it smart to actively stifle Wall’s creative nature? Turnovers aren’t great, but neither is risk-averse basketball. The Wizards and Wall must strike a balance, and simply having him cut down the turnover count may limit his overall effectiveness.

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