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No, John Wall will not play this season under the new NBA format

No, John Wall will not play this season under the new NBA format

The first question for a lot of Wizards fans hearing the news the NBA plans to return in late July and with a format that could put Washington in the playoffs may be how this affects John Wall. The season delay has allowed Wall more time to recover from his Achilles surgery, and now that the playoffs are seemingly more possible for the Wizards than they were previously, it's fair to ask.

But the answer remains the same. Wall, in fact, did a radio interview just this week on the Team 980 where he said he is not playing and the question was within the context of the new format.

Here's what Wall said:

"I won't play at all. I will wait until next season. The decision has been already made. No, I'm not," he said.

Wall was reiterating what he and the Wizards have said for months, including at different stops along the way as the NBA has floated other return-to-play scenarios. As he and general manager Tommy Sheppard have explained it, bringing Wall back after all this time off away from the team is just not as easy as it may sound.

They have a plan and are sticking to it. They are looking past this season for Wall, hoping the extra time will help him come back healthy and also preserve the investment they have made in him with a supermax contract.

There is also an element to this that isn't often being mentioned. If the Wizards made the playoffs and got past the eighth seed to qualify for the first round, they would play a Bucks team that was on pace for one of the best records in history. The Wizards would likely be knocked out quickly by them, if not easily.

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Is it worth bringing Wall back for that likely result? He would be thrown into the fire after 20 months off. Remember, he hasn't played since December of 2018.

Wall would have to, on a surgically repaired Achilles, get up to speed very quickly and then play in high-intensity games. If he waits until the 2020-21 season, he would get preseason games to work out the kinks, then essentially be in the same boat as everyone else at the beginning of the regular season campaign.

Also, it's logical to expect Wall to be on a minutes limit initially and be held out of back-to-backs. A truncated schedule of games would present a difficult scenario for him and the training staff. 

Add it all up and it just doesn't make much sense, beyond the fact the Wizards have been adamant he won't play. Unless it has all been a ruse, or something changes, don't expect to see Wall this year.

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Report: Pacers' Victor Oladipo opts out of NBA restart in Orlando

Report: Pacers' Victor Oladipo opts out of NBA restart in Orlando

Victor Oladipo has opted out of playing in the NBA's restart in Orlando, marking the biggest star yet who was expected to play backing out.

The news, which was first reported by the Athletic, is a health precaution as he aims to get 100 percent healthy for next season. He had played only 13 games this season after missing a full year due to a torn quadriceps tendon.

Oladipo, 28, is a two-time All-Star. His absence leaves the Indiana Pacers, the fifth-seed in the Eastern Conference, without their best player.

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The Wizards happen to play the Pacers as part of their new eight-game schedule to close out the regular season. Now they won't see Oladipo, who they had yet to face this season. 

Given Oladipo's recent injury history, it is not all that surprising he would make this move. But it also could open the door for other players of his stature to decide similarly.

Oladipo is a star in the league, but not on a team expected to compete for the title. Will others in a similar boat decide not to go? Wizards guard Bradley Beal, for one, is still mulling his own decision on whether to play.

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Rui Hachimura 'sad' Olympics were delayed, hopes to still play in Tokyo next year

Rui Hachimura 'sad' Olympics were delayed, hopes to still play in Tokyo next year

Though he understands the reasons why, Wizards rookie Rui Hachimura can't help but be disappointed in the postponement of the 2020 Olympics, which were set to take place in Tokyo, Japan later this month.

Hachimura figured to play a prominent role for the host country, as one of Japan's most famous athletes and the best player on their basketball team. The plan is to play the games in 2021, still in Tokyo, and Hachimura hopes that remains the case despite continued uncertainty for all sporting events amid the coronavirus outbreak.

"I'm honestly so sad about it. We can't do anything about it," he said on Friday. "Of course, I would like to play in the Olympics. Next year, we'll see how things go."

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Hachimura had participated in some lead-up press events for the 2020 Olympics representing his country in the months before coronavirus hit. But, really, he had been looking forward to the 2020 Olympics for many years.

Hachimura has already made history as the first Japanese-born player to get selected in the first round of the NBA Draft. The Olympics this year were supposed to be another major step forward for the sport of basketball in Japan.

"Japan Olympics was one of my dreams to do. It was big to me. Ever since I started in basketball, they talked about the Olympics in 2020. Then, this happened," he said.

Hachimura should be able to still participate next year as long as the schedule works out. As of now, the NBA is aiming to begin the 2020-21 season in December. That would put them on track to end in time for Hachimura and other players to play in Tokyo.

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