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What are the Wizards' options with John Wall done for the season?

What are the Wizards' options with John Wall done for the season?

UPDATE: The Wizards have confirmed that John Wall will undergo surgery on his left heel in a statement:

Wizards guard John Wall will undergo a debridement and repair of a Haglund’s deformity and a chronic Achilles tendon injury in his left heel.  The procedure will be performed by Dr. Robert Anderson in Green Bay, WI, next week on a day to be determined.  Wall is expected to return to full basketball activity in approximately six to eight months. 

The 2018-19 season has become a worst-case scenario for the Washington Wizards who now, on top of being 10 games under .500, face the prospect of their five-time All-Star point guard John Wall being done for the year. 

Wall saw a foot specialist on Saturday who recommended season-ending surgery to fix the bone spurs in his left heel, NBC Sports Washington confirmed. The 28-year-old faces a recovery timeline of six-to-eight months.

That long of rehab would not only keep Wall out for this season but affect much of his offseason as well. That, by the way, is the summer before his supermax contract worth $170 million kicks in. Wall is due to make about $38 million next season.

Losing Wall for the year would leave the Wizards in a difficult spot, to say the least. He is the focal point of their offense and their roster has essentially been built around him.

Last season, Wall missed exactly half of their games due to injuries. Though the Wizards managed to win 43 games and qualify for the playoffs, they went a pedestrian 20-21 without him. Tomas Satoransky stepped in to fill the void and will do the same this season for however long Wall is out.

Already in a 13-23 hole to begin this season, the pace they maintained without Wall last season would fall short of a playoff spot. They still have All-Star Bradley Beal, but the odds they make the postseason will be significantly affected.

The Wizards may have to make a big-picture decision here. Do they want to do whatever it takes to make the playoffs this season, or accept the fate of taking a step back and using what could be a prime first-round draft pick to re-tool for the future?

If the Wizards are intent on making the playoffs, a trade might be required to shore up the point guard position. Right now they are looking at Satoransky as the starter with a group of backups featuring Chasson Randle and Ron Baker. Though Troy Brown Jr. can play some point guard, the Wizards haven't shown they trust him there quite yet.

If they want to make a trade, there are some decent options out there on expiring deals, assuming they wouldn't take on future money at the point guard spot. Impending free agent point guards with reasonable salaries include Terry Rozier of the Celtics ($3.1M), D'Angelo Russell of the Nets ($7M), Derrick Rose of the Timberwolves ($2.2M), Patrick Beverley of the Clippers ($5M) and Elfrid Payton of the Pelicans ($3M).

The unfortunate irony is that the Wizards recently traded away one of their backup guards in Austin Rivers. He was dealt to the Phoenix Suns in the Trevor Ariza trade. Though Rivers struggled in his brief tenure with the Wizards, the team could use someone just like him right now.

Free agency wouldn't offer much for the Wizards, who have some experience navigating the point guard market. Last year, they signed Ty Lawson and Ramon Sessions as free agents midseason. They could find another, similar option this time around, though no one good enough to fill in as the starter.

If Wall does elect to have surgery, and it seems likely at this point, both he and the Wizards will be making a long-term play. That may be the smart way to go about things with Wall set to begin earning the biggest contract in franchise history.

But to really think big-picture, the Wizards may have to consider whether it's worth saving this season or not. They are nearing the midway point and only five teams currently have a worse record than them. Wall isn't their only injury, either. Dwight Howard was already lost for months with back surgery and Otto Porter Jr. can't seem to shake a right knee injury that has sidelined him for weeks.

With a 2019 draft class that appears overflowing with potential stars, R.J. Barrett and Zion Williamson to name a few, the Wizards may be smart long-term to take their lumps. Good teams have made the most of down years before by falling into luck in the lottery. That's how the Spurs got Tim Duncan. This past summer, after a down year, the Memphis Grizzlies may have scored a future superstar in Jaren Jackson Jr.

The problem is that bottoming out and missing the playoffs, for a team with the preseason expectations the Wizards had, generally puts jobs on the line. Right or wrong, that has to enter the thinking of Wizards decision-makers who will ultimately have to make the call.


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Wizards at Heat Game: TV Channel, Live Stream, how to watch

Wizards at Heat Game: TV Channel, Live Stream, how to watch

Thursday’s 119-113 victory over the 76ers was by far the best victory the Wizards have had this season.

Davis Bertans was hot shooting 7-for-10 from three. He even set a career high of 25 points in 27 minutes.  

Miami, on the hand struggled Wednesday night and fell short to Boston 112-93. 

Who will get the victory Friday ngiht? Tune in to find out. 


What: Washington Wizards at Heat, Game 21

Where: American Airlines Arena, Miami, FL

When: Friday, December 6, at 8:00 p.m. ET

TV Channel: Wizards at Heat will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington (NBC Sports Channel Finder)

Live Stream: You can live stream Wizards at Heat on NBC Sports Washington's live stream page and on the NBC Sports App.

Radio: Wizards Radio Network, 1500 AM


7:00 PM: Wizards Outsiders (LIVE)

7:30 PM: Wizards Pregame Live (LIVE)

8:00 PM: Wizards at Heat (LIVE)

10:30 PM: Wizards Postgame Live (LIVE)

11:00 PM: D.C. Sports Live (LIVE)

11:30 PM: Wizards Talk (LIVE)


Wizards: John Wall (OUT, Left Achilles rehab), Ian Mahinmi (OUT, Right Achilles strain), C.J. Miles (OUT, Wrist), Thomas Bryant (OUT, foot), Isaiah Thomas (OUT, Calf)

Heat: Justise Winslow (OUT, Back), Goran Dragic (OUT, Groin), KZ Okpala (OUT, Achilles), Udonis Haslem (OUT, Illness)


Davis Bertans, PF, (13.6 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 1.7 app, ): Bertans went off in the first half against the 76ers shooting 6-for-6 from deep to get 22 points going into halftime. Bertans finished Thursday nights game with a season high of 25 points, one rebound, one steal and seven 3 pointers within 37 minutes.

Ish Smith, G, Wizards (8 ppg, 3 rpg, 3.9 apg): With IT out Ish Smith stepped up to the plate dishing out a season high of eight assists with 19 points and one rebound in 34 minutes in Thursday nights win over the 76ers. Smith is averaging

Jimmy Butler, G, Wizards (20.1 ppg, 6 rpg, 6.5 apg): Jimmy Butler was on fire in Miami’s 112-93 loss to Celtics on Wednesday. Butler made 12-of-18 from the field and set a season high of 37 points.


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Davis Bertans reinforces status as Wizards' best offseason addition in win over 76ers

Davis Bertans reinforces status as Wizards' best offseason addition in win over 76ers

WASHINGTON -- The Washington Wizards beat the Philadelphia 76ers 119-113 on Thursday night at Capital One Arena. Here are five takeaways from what went down...

1. The Wizards entered this season with the understanding they probably wouldn't make the playoffs. They wanted to play hard and be a team capable of pulling off upsets on nights their effort and scrappy play caught opponents off guard.

They wanted to have games like they had on Thursday night. For the first time this season, the Wizards jumped all over a very good team and held on for a victory.

The Wizards took out the Sixers 119-113 for what is so far their signature win of the season. Philly is one of the best teams in the East at 15-7 and it was mostly healthy, unlike the Wizards.

Washington snapped a three-game skid as it now flies to Miami for battle with the Heat, who may be the surprise team of the NBA so far this season with a 15-6 record.

2. Though it's not showing in the standings, the Wizards did a nice job in the offseason in flipping their roster and creating long-term financial flexibility. Their most impressive move may have been trading for Davis Bertans.

Bertans was essentially stolen from the San Antonio Spurs for Aaron White, who was likely to never play for the Wizards. And all Bertans has done is thrive in an expanded role with the green light to shoot as often as he wants.

Bertans was lights-out on Thursday with 25 points on 9-for-16 shooting. He set a career high with seven threes, going 7-for-13 from the perimeter. Bertans had 20 points and was 6-for-6 from three in the first half, tying his previous career high for makes.

As I've mentioned before, Bertans is going to be a commodity come the trade deadline and that is going to force a tough decision for the Wizards, whether to trade him or keep him and try to work out an extension in the offseason. If they are offered a first-round pick, it will be hard to pass up.

But there is an argument either way to hold on to him because he is such a good shooter. Just imagine how well he would fit with John Wall.

3. Rookie Rui Hachimura also had a huge game in what was his first career meeting with the Sixers. He popped off for 15 points in the second quarter and ended up with 27 points and six boards.

Hachimura did all of this while dealing with Al Horford and Joel Embiid down low and guarding those guys on the other end. He also spent some time checking Tobias Harris, so there was a lot on his plate.

Hachimura got many of his points with his bread-and-butter midrange game. He made one three and found trouble getting around Embiid at the rim. 

Hachimura took what the defense gave him and it worked. There were several occasions where defenders just let him take long twos and he made them.

Head coach Scott Brooks was just talking pregame about why the Wizards are okay with him living in the midrange, if that's what he is most comfortable with at this point. Good timing with those comments.

Hachimura, by the way, is averaging 22 points over his last four games while shooting 54.4 percent from the field (37-for-68).

4. The Wizards shared some good news on the injury front before the game as both of their backup centers returned. Moe Wagner, who was nursing a left ankle injury, came back after missing two games. And Ian Mahinmi made his season debut after missing two-plus months with an Achilles strain.

Wagner was put in the starting lineup due to Thomas Bryant's absence and, though he did not have his usual scoring numbers, he did what he could to bother Embiid and give the Wizards energy. Wagner finished with five points and 11 rebounds.

Mahinmi played surprisingly well, all things considered. He had some bad moments, some due to rust. Be he did a solid job guarding Embiid, which is no easy task. The Wizards also helped him out with double teams.

The best part of Mahinmi's night, though, was right when he checked in. He has developed a reputation for getting in foul trouble and, sure enough, he got one on his very first play.

5. Though the Wizards got two players back from injury on Thursday, they also lost two. Jordan McRae will be out a few weeks after having a second surgery on his right ring finger. And, in a bigger surprise, starting point guard Isaiah Thomas was a late scratch with a left calf strain.

The Thomas one is a newly disclosed injury and at this point it's unclear if he will miss any more time. But it was enough for him to sit after he had played in 17 straight.