Wall to miss remainder of the season


Photo by Keith Allison, Flickr.

Wall (left) with the Wizards in 2018. The five time all-star drives into the lane for the layup.

The Wizards announced in late December that point guard John Wall would miss the remainder of the season to undergo heel surgery. This is huge news for the Wizards as they won’t have their five time all-star until next season. Wall joined the Wizards on June 24, 2010, as the first pick in the NBA Draft. The hype for Wall coming out of college was crazy; he was a first team All-American, he won the Rupp Trophy and he led his Kentucky team to the Elite Eight before losing in a close game to West Virginia.

In Wall’s rookie season he put up fantastic numbers and was selected to the All-Rookie first team. Since his rookie year, John Wall has established himself as one of the best point guards in the NBA and has had some great playoff runs with the Wizards. In the 2017 NBA Playoffs, Wall hit a miraculous 26 footer to win the game against the Boston Celtics in Game 6 of the Semifinals. They would go on to lose to Boston in Game 7, but Wall’s shot immortalized himself in the hearts of Wizards fans.

After an impressive 49 wins and a playoff appearance as the four seed, the expectations for the Wizards going into the next season were sky high. However, on January 30, reports began to surface that John Wall would miss six to eight weeks with knee surgery. Despite a short stretch where the Wizards were winning without Wall, they fell to the eight seed and lost in a short six game series to the Toronto Raptors in the first round. Even after Wall’s return for the playoffs, he didn’t look like the same player. He was slower, less explosive and more careful with his body. This was a big concern for the Wizards going into the 2018-19 NBA season.

After only winning 14 out of the first 37 games of the season due to many injuries and team chemistry issues, Wall decided to undergo a surgery on his heel that would end his season. At first glance, this looked like a terrible thing for the Wizards as they lost their best player for the remainder of the season. This is actually beneficial for the long term because the Wizards are not going to make the playoffs this season and will most likely be getting a top five draft pick without Wall. This could be huge for the team as the last top five pick they had was Otto Porter Jr. in 2013.

“Wall is killing the Wizards. This injury is great for the team,” sophomore Alan Gahart said.

On January 8, Wall had successful surgery on his left heel and is expected to fully participate in Wizards training camp in September. Wall’s season-ending surgery is a big deal for the team as they have been trying to trade Wall for the last two months. This surgery means that no team will even consider trading for Wall and he will be stuck with the Wizards until next season when his trade value is restored. Even then, league executives have labeled John Wall’s 37 million dollar extension as one of the NBA’s “worst” contracts. This means that there is almost no chance a team will trade for Wall even when he returns from his surgery.

For Wall, this surgery was a no brainer. He is nearing his 29th birthday and as a guard who endures a lot of physical contact, Wall knows that injuries like this cannot be left to linger for the rest of his career. If he wants to be effective in the coming years he cannot become another injury-prone veteran who will never be the the same player.