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John Wall not making the All-Star Game may be a good thing

John Wall not making the All-Star Game may be a good thing

BY TYLER BYRUM

Last week the NBA announced the starters for the All-Star game and John Wall was not among the list. Picking up the two starting guard positions were Kyrie Irving and DeMar DeRozan.

Making the Feb. 19 exhibition roster is always a great accolade for a player to add to their resume, in John Wall's first six seasons in the NBA he has been honored three times, being named a starter once. When the NBA coaches vote on the reserves this upcoming week, it is likely that Wall, who leads the East guards in double-doubles (25), will be selected.

In two of his All-Star selections, it came from the coaches vote for reserves. The other guards who he will be measured up against include, Isaiah Thomas, Kyle Lowry, Kemba Walker, and Dwayne Wade. 

But say Wall does not make the game in New Orleans, it actually would not be a bad thing for the Wizards.

While the 26-year-old will be disappointed in what would be a snub, he has been a workhorse for the Wizards this season. He leads the team in minutes per game with 36.3 and is tied for seventh in the NBA; it is right on pace with his career average (36.0). When Wall is in the game he plays at an extremely high level, he is the only guard in the Eastern Conference that averages a double-double (23.1 ppg, 10.3 apg).

Remember Wall is coming off of two knee procedures this past off-season and during a stretch earlier in the season he was missing back-to-backs.

In the two games the guard was not in the lineup, Washington was 0-2 with a loss to the Magic and a 106-95 loss to the Bulls. Given it is a small sample size in games that happened at the beginning of the season, prior to this season Wall had only missed eight games in the past three seasons. If Wall were to not partake in the All-Star game, that would give him a week off from the brutal NBA schedule.

Following the break, the Wizards and Wall will face an important stretch of games as the entire association begins to make a playoff push. Washington will face the surging Philadelphia 76ers, the surprisingly good Utah Jazz, the Golden State Warriors, and the Toronto Raptors twice. 

During that stretch, the team will need all of Wall they can get. And normally an angry John Wall is a good John Wall.

RELATED: Wall hopeful he can make fourth All-Star game

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Wizards waive three, sign 2017 first-rounder Anzejs Pasecniks

Wizards waive three, sign 2017 first-rounder Anzejs Pasecniks

As the NBA regular season approaches, the Washington Wizards seek to finalize their roster.

The Wizards announced on Wednesday that they have waived Phil Booth, Justin Anderson and Jemerrio Jones. The team also signed 2017 first-rounder Anzejs Pasecniks and small forward Jalen Jones, the team announced.

Pasecniks and Jones were signed to Exhibit 10 contracts, meaning that if they are waived, they will have the opportunity to play for the Go-Go, the Wizards' G-League affiliate. Booth was on an Exhibit 10 deal, so he will report to the Go-Go after being waived.

Pasecniks, a 7-foot center from Latvia, was the 25th overall selection from the 2017 draft. The Orlando Magic drafted him and moved him to the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for draft picks. The 76ers renounced his rights in June.

Pasecniks played on the Wizards summer league team, averaging 4.0 points and 5.3 rebounds. Jalen Jones has averaged 4.8 points and 2.3 rebounds while shooting 37 percent from beyond the arc in 32 games over two seasons with three teams.

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John Wall embracing role as assistant coach during injury rehab

John Wall embracing role as assistant coach during injury rehab

WASHINGTON -- John Wall has already made enough money during his basketball career to last a lifetime and his new supermax contract worth $170 million is just kicking in. When he is done playing in the NBA, he doesn't have to do anything at all if he doesn't want to.

But there is at least a small part of Wall that believes coaching could be in his future. He loves the game enough to not rule out the possibility.

This year will give him a taste of what being a coach is all about. While he rehabs his ruptured left Achilles, he will serve as an unofficial assistant to head coach Scott Brooks. Wall will be asked to break down film with players, advise on plays to run and help the team's young point guards in practice.

Wall isn't sure as of today whether he wants to coach when his playing days are over. But he may have an answer in just a few months.

"I think this year will tell me whether I can be a coach or not," Wall told NBC Sports Washington on the Wizards Talk podcast. 

"I think you have to have a lot of patience and you've gotta know how to interact with every player. Every player's attitudes and character and mood swings are totally different. I learned from when a coach tried to coach me when I was young and I wasn't the guy to coach."

Wizards general manager Tommy Sheppard envisions Wall as an important part of the locker room, even when he isn't playing. Part of his role may include some tough conversations with players. As Sheppard says, Wall may be able to deliver some messages that resonate more from a peer than if they came from a coach. 

Wall knows he can help in that regard. He has long been a vocal presence for the Wizards and had to assume the role as a team leader at an early age. After coming in as the No. 1 overall pick, he was a franchise player from the time he was 19 years old.

Wall's personality may also lend itself to those duties. He is very honest, whether it be with teammates or the media. 

"I like to speak my mind," he said. "It's like my momma always told me, 'I'd rather you speak your mind and say what you want to say, but say it in a respectful manner and a respectful way.'"

Wall, in fact, has a detailed philosophy on being honest. He doesn't like to lie whether it's in a media setting, to teammates or in everyday life.

It's not quite a Jim Carrey in 'Liar, Liar' deal, but Wall sees no point in beating around the bush. If he has something to say to a teammate or the media, he will say it.

"I don't know how to not give you the truth," he said. "What I've learned is that when you lie, you've gotta remember that lie exactly the way you said it for the next 12 people you tell it to. So, why make it that tough?"

Wall is set to miss at least the first few months of the Wizards' 2019-20 season and he could be sidelined the entire year. He said he hopes to have a similar impact that Kristi Tolliver did with the Mystics this past season where she remained active as a veteran leader in the locker room despite not being able to help the team on the floor for weeks due to a knee injury.

Missing so much time due to injury is not the ideal situation for Wall, but he plans to make the most of it.

"It will make my game a lot smarter and better for when I come back," he said.

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