Wizards owner Ted Leonsis has been spending a lot of time thinking about the future. In a way, that is his most valuable skill, to project what is ahead in his industry, whether that be with technology, sports gambling or other ventures.
Leonsis is now in that mode, looking years ahead, with his NBA team. He is in the process of finding a new team president and is taking his time doing so.
Part of why picking a new team architect is such a difficult decision for Leonsis is the uncertain future of the Wizards' highest-paid player. Point guard John Wall, a five-time All-Star, is still in the early goings of a long and arduous injury recovery. He had surgery to repair a ruptured Achilles in early February and is set to miss most of next season, likely 50 games at a minimum.
Wall, who turns 29 before training camp, could miss all of next season in what will be the first year of his supermax contract extension. He will make 35 percent of the salary cap, currently projected around $38 million.
Leonsis understands how important Wall is to the Wizards' future, whether he returns to be the same player he once was or not. Wall's recovery will go a long way in setting the course of the franchise for years to come.
With that in mind, Leonsis is taking the long view. He wants Wall and the Wizards to get his rehab right, no matter how long it takes.
"John understands his commitment will show from this rehab," Leonsis told NBC Sports Washington on the Wizards Talk podcast. "If it takes the whole season, we don't care. We are not putting pressure on you on a time.
"Make sure that you are rehabilitating in the right way so that when you do come back, you don't have that little voice in your head [saying] 'did I do everything the right way to be able to come back and be a great, great player?'"
Leonsis said he had Wall over to his house earlier this month. In fact, Leonsis said he is getting daily updates on Wall's recovery; videos and medical reports.
He believes Wall is in a good place at this stage of the recovery and cautions him to remain patient to keep it that way.
"He looks great," Leonsis said of his recent visit. "We joked, I said 'hey, last offseason I remember seeing some pictures of you [that were different].' He just looks great. He looks determined. You can tell he has fallen back in love with the process. I feel good about where this will end with John."
Wall is continuing his rehab in Miami. He is nearly four months into the process with somewhere in the range of six-to-nine more months to go.
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