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.
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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