The Wizards' plan all along involved locking up John Wall for the long haul. Outside factors contributed to them doing so now.

The organization could have waited until next summer to ink their point guard to a maximum contract extension. Wall would be a restricted free agent meaning the Wizards could match any offer none of which would be grander than the five-year $80 million deal that's now signed and sealed. So why not wait and let the zero-time All-Star play a full season like one before paying him like one.

Because over the closing stretch of last season the former No. 1 overall pick did indeed perform as hoped with room for growth. Because with Wall the Wizards played like a playoff team. For a franchise without a postseason berth since 2008 and a championship since 1978 that's a good thing.

Another factor? While the ability to match a future contract offer is one thing allowing high-profile teams to enter the discussion is something else. With 2014 looking like a potentially monster free agent class some competitors are poised to pounce. Once Dwight Howard didn't stay put and perhaps regardless it became obvious the Los Angeles Lakers were one of them. Maybe the Miami Heat perhaps the New York Knicks.