After His Season-Ending Injury, What’s Next for John Wall?

    The Wizards will be without their star point guard for at least a year. Washington announced

    February 5, 2019

    The Wizards will be without their star point guard for at least a year.

    Washington announced John Wall will have surgery on his Achilles and is expected to miss the rest of this season and most of next year. This is the same injury Kobe Bryant and DeMarcus Cousins suffered in recent years with differing recoveries. Bryant was never the same after his injury while Cousins looks to be getting back to his All-Star form. Nevertheless, Wall faces an uphill battle in his recovery process and he may never be the player he was.

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    Wall, who hasn’t played a game since Dec. 26, was producing 20.7 points, 8.7 assists and 1.5 steals per game before being sidelined with a foot injury. The Wizards claim Wall slipped and fell in his home, which aggravated his injury and caused the tear.

    Washington now faces the impossible question of what to do with the team this summer. The Wizards reportedly aren’t looking to part with Bradley Beal or Otto Porter Jr. at the trade deadline, but that duo and Wall combine for nearly $100 million on Washington’s books. It’s hard to see management keeping this group together with Wall set to miss most of next season. The Wizards are currently 22-31 and likely will fall out of the playoff race with Wall sidelined.

    The Wizards also don’t exactly like each other, which is a major problem for management. Beal was fed up earlier this season after a heated practice and his back-and-forths with Wall have been well documented. Porter Jr. has not lived up to his contract and the team likely sees no viable path to contention without hitting the reset button or somehow winding up at the top of the draft.

    Finding a trade partner for Wall will be nearly impossible given his ‘supermax’ contract. The guard is set to make almost $44 million in 2021-22 and has a $46.8 million player option for 2022-23, which he’s definitely not turning down. Wall will stay in Washington, but management should be exploring deals for Beal and Porter Jr. as the trade deadline approaches.

    The Wizards were likely never going to contend with the “Big 3” they had assembled, but Wall’s injury might finally push them to do something about it. Can Washington surround Wall with a more competitive roster by the time he returns and his humongous cap number finally takes a stranglehold on the franchise?

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