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Wizards owner Ted Leonsis taking long view with John Wall's injury rehab

Wizards owner Ted Leonsis taking long view with John Wall's injury rehab

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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Davis Bertans' incredible start to the season, by the numbers

Davis Bertans' incredible start to the season, by the numbers

Davis Bertans was on fire once again on Tuesday night in the Wizards' loss to the Charlotte Hornets, as the Latvian Laser continues his breakout season in Washington hitting threes at a historic rate. Here are some numbers to put what he is doing in perspective...


Bertans had 32 points in Tuesday's game, the ninth time he has scored 20 or more already this season. He had scored 20-plus points only three times previously in his career.


Bertans has made six or more threes in a game six times already this season, including four times this month. Before he joined the Wizards, he had done it twice as an NBA player.


Bertans is one of only seven players in Wizards/Bullets franchise history to make eight threes or more in a game. The others are Gilbert Arenas, Trevor Ariza, Bradley Beal, Bojan Bogdanovic, Rex Chapman and DeShawn Stevenson. Only Beal (nine) and Ariza (10) have made more than eight.


Bertans has made 92 threes through 23 games this season. The ony players who have made more through this point in NBA history are James Harden and Stephen Curry. The previous high for a Wizards/Bullets player was 72 (Arenas).


The 92 threes in 23 games has Bertans averaging four per game and on pace to make 328 on the season. Only two players have ever made 300-plus threes; Harden and Curry. The record is 402, by Curry in 2015-16.


Bertans has made four threes or more in six straight games and five or more in four straight. Both are franchise records. During this six-game stretch, Bertans is 36-for-71 (50.7%) from long range.


Bertans is making most of his threes on catch-and-shoot plays and leads the league in most related categories. He is tops in the NBA in points off catch-and-shoot plays (9.6/g), field goals made (3.2/g) and three-pointers made (3.1).


A whopping 70.8 percent of Bertans' shot attempts this season have come from three-point range. The next highest percentage for a Wizards player is 34.6 percent, by Moe Wagner.


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Ish Smith helps mop the court during a timeout

NBC Sports Washington

Ish Smith helps mop the court during a timeout

As a guard, Ish Smith is asked to do a lot on the court. Pass, shoot, and defend, the Wizards need him to do it all in order to succeed. On Tuesday, however, Smith demonstrated another on-court intangible that isn't always seen from NBA players: cleaning.

During the final moments of what would be a 114-107 loss to the Hornets, the game came to a halt in order to mop up a wet spot on the court. Smith happened to find himself near the large mop under the baseline, grabbed it and began helping out the worker. 

Overall, it's pretty good form here from Smith. He bent his knees, extended his arms and had a solid motion with the mop. Smith finished the night with 13 points and five assists in the boxscore, but this sixth assist was his most innovative.