John Wall

John Wall Undergoes Achilles Surgery

Wizards point guard John Wall has undergone successful surgery on his ruptured left Achilles tendon, Candace Buckner of The Washington Post reports (via Twitter). The team had announced last Tuesday that Wall would undergo the procedure sometime soon.

While the Wizards indicated last week that Wall is expected to return to full basketball activities approximately 12 months after undergoing surgery, that timeline isn’t set in stone. As Buckner notes (via Twitter), the window for Wall’s recovery is more like 11-15 months, so there’s a chance he may not return at all during the 2019/20 campaign, which is the first season of his four-year, super-max extension.

Wall previously underwent season-ending surgery on his left heel, but later suffered the Achilles injury after he slipped and fell in his home. It was a devastating blow for both the Wizards and their All-Star point guard, but Wall attempted to take an optimistic view when he discussed the injury last week.

“You never want to hear it, but it is what it is, and [I’m] kind of glad that it happened now instead of when I’m four or five months ahead in recovery and I’m trying to get back to being on the court,” Wall said. “… It’s not like I’ve started my process of getting back, so it’s not too much to kind of dwell on.

“I guess God is telling me something: ‘Sit down and get yourself fully healthy.’ I’ve played through injuries my whole career. I know a lot of people who’ve played through injuries and don’t sit down; that’s one thing I don’t like to do. If something is nagging or not broken, I want to play. And I guess it kind of caught up to me. Something I can’t control, but my love for the game is still there, and I’ll come back and conquer this like it was just a little step in the road.”

With Wall sidelined for the next year, the Wizards will be under additional pressure to get new starting point guard Tomas Satoransky locked up beyond this season. Satoransky, who is eligible for an in-season extension, is on track to become a restricted free agent this summer.

John Wall Talks About Injury, Recovery

A disastrous injury to John Wall got even worse this week with the news that he developed an infection from heel surgery, then fell in his home and ruptured his left Achilles tendon, which is expected to sideline him for an additional 12 months.

Still, Wall was in good spirits as he joined his teammates for Friday’s win over the Cavaliers and as he talked to Ava Wallace of The Washington Post about his upcoming operation, which is set for Tuesday morning.

“You never want to hear it, but it is what it is, and [I’m] kind of glad that it happened now instead of when I’m four or five months ahead in recovery and I’m trying to get back to being on the court,” Wall said. “… It’s not like I’ve started my process of getting back, so it’s not too much to kind of dwell on.

“I guess God is telling me something: ‘Sit down and get yourself fully healthy.’ I’ve played through injuries my whole career. I know a lot of people who’ve played through injuries and don’t sit down; that’s one thing I don’t like to do. If something is nagging or not broken, I want to play. And I guess it kind of caught up to me. Something I can’t control, but my love for the game is still there, and I’ll come back and conquer this like it was just a little step in the road.”

Young forward Otto Porter was shipped to the Bulls in exchange for Bobby Portis, a restricted free agent, and Jabari Parker, who will have a team option on his $20MM salary for next year. Veteran Markieff Morris was sent to New Orleans in exchange for impending free agent Wesley Johnson in another money-saving trade.

“We added some great pieces; you see how well those guys played today,” Wall said in assessing the trades. “The franchise made some changes the last couple days, made some adjustments, and I think these guys that we added have a great mind-set even though it was only one game. Just take it one step at a time. For me, all I can do is sit back and watch film . . . [so] that I can come back and be able to play injury-free and just have fun without playing through nicks and bruises every night.”

John Wall Expected To Miss At Least 12 More Months

John Wall‘s injury issues have gone from bad to worse, according to a new announcement from the Wizards. After initially undergoing season-ending surgery on his left heel last month, Wall developed an infection in the incision from that surgery, then suffered a ruptured left Achilles tendon when he slipped and fell in his home, the team announced today in a press release.

As a result of the new injury, Wall will undergo surgery to repair his ruptured Achilles tendon. That procedure will likely happen next week, per Candace Buckner of The Washington Post (Twitter link). According to the club, the veteran point guard is expected to return to full basketball activity in approximately 12 months after undergoing that surgery.

It’s brutal news for the Wizards and for Wall, who will enter the first year of a four-year, maximum-salary contract extension in 2019/20. That extension has a projected starting salary of $38.15MM and a projected total value of $170.91MM. However, it doesn’t sound like Wall will play much – if at all – during the first season of his new deal, as the 12-month timeline would keep him on the shelf until around the All-Star break in 2020.

Even when Wall returns, it will likely take him some time to get back up to speed, if previous NBA Achilles injuries are any indication. Considering he’s a player who relies so much on his quickness and explosiveness, there’s also no guarantee he’ll recapture his pre-injury form. He’ll be 29 years old by the time he gets back on the court for the Wizards.

The Wizards will now have to address their point guard position this offseason, since they’ll be without Wall for much of the 2019/20 campaign. Tomas Satoransky, who has assumed Wall’s spot in the starting lineup, will be eligible for restricted free agency this summer. We heard last month that Washington had explored a possible in-season extension for Satoransky, who would be eligible for a four-year contract worth up to about $47.5MM.

Before going down for the season, Wall was his usual productive self for the Wizards, averaging 20.7 PPG and 8.7 APG with a .444 FG% in 32 games. However, Washington was well below .500 at the time of Wall’s injury and remains on the outside of the Eastern Conference playoff picture today. The 22-31 Wizards are tied for 10th in the East with Orlando.

Despite the Wizards’ struggles, owner Ted Leonsis has said a playoff spot is still the goal, stressing that the franchise has no plans to trade any of its Big Three (Wall, Bradley Beal, and Otto Porter). Of course, Wall’s value would be in the tank at this point anyway, so he won’t be a trade candidate anytime soon.

As Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer and Michael Lee of The Athletic observe (via Twitter), the one silver lining for Wall is that he signed his extension from the Wizards while it was available to him in 2017. If he had passed on that offer, he would have been in line for unrestricted free agency this July, and would have found himself in a position similar to the one DeMarcus Cousins was in last year.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Deveney’s Latest: Wizards, Sixers, Fultz, Morris

After sharing some trade-related notes on the Trail Blazers, Dario Saric, and Wesley Matthews on Monday, Sean Deveney of Sporting News is back with another handful of trade rumors today. Let’s dive right in and round up the highlights…

  • Wizards owner Ted Leonsis said last week that there are no plans to trade John Wall, Bradley Beal, or Otto Porter at this year’s deadline, and rival executives have heard the same thing in discussions with Washington, writes Deveney. “They’re not budging,” one exec said of the Wizards. “Maybe they’d deal Porter, but they want a star-type player back, and that’s not happening.”
  • The Sixers aren’t yet ready to move on from Markelle Fultz, sources tell Deveney. Fultz is still 20 years old and his value has cratered, so Philadelphia will hold out hope that he can rebuild that value. However, that stance could change in the offseason if the team views Fultz as a key trade chip to acquire important role players.
  • The Sixers have been “very active” on the trade market as they seek depth, but would be content to go the buyout route if necessary, after having success there a year ago, says Deveney.
  • Celtics forward Marcus Morris isn’t a trade candidate, given how important he has been in Boston this season. “I would hate to think where they’d be without Morris,” one scout told Deveney. “All the stuff that’s gone on, at least on the floor, he kind of holds it together for them.”
  • Morris will be an unrestricted free agent this summer and executives around the NBA predict that he’ll command a starting salary in the $11-12MM range, according to Deveney. “Two years makes sense, but maybe a third year on an option,” said one GM. Deveney names the Kings, Jazz, and Pacers as teams that could have interest in the Celtics forward during the offseason.

Leonsis: Wizards Not Trading Wall, Beal, Porter At Deadline

The Wizards have been below .500 and on the outside of the Eastern playoff picture all season, leading to speculation that the team may shop highly-paid veterans like John Wall, Bradley Beal, and Otto Porter. Asked today during a Q&A with WTOP in Washington about that possibility, however, Wizards owner Ted Leonsis dismissed the idea of a huge pre-deadline deal.

“We’re not trading any of those players,” Leonsis said of his Big Three, per Noah Frank of WTOP (Twitter link).

It’s the second major declaration this month by Leonsis, who said two weeks ago that the Wizards will “never, ever tank.” It was clear at that point that Washington planned to hang onto Beal, who has been leading the charge to get the team back into playoff position. Recent reports have indicated that the Wizards may be more open to the idea of moving Porter, but Leonsis’ comments today seem to suggest that’s not in the cards this season.

As for Wall, he’ll be sidelined for the rest of the 2018/19 campaign with a heel injury and is owed approximately $170MM over the next four years, so he has always been considered an unlikely trade candidate.

Of course, even though the Wizards don’t intend to move one of their most expensive players, that doesn’t mean they’ll stand pat at the deadline. Leonsis suggested today that the club could look to add around the edges within the next week, Frank tweets. The Wizards’ owner also noted that he views Washington’s 2019 first-round pick as a way to improve the roster for next season, adding, “I wouldn’t throw in the towel on this core.”

Leonsis avoided directly addressing the future of general manager Ernie Grunfeld, but it seems safe to assume that he’ll re-evaluate the management group if the Wizards end up in the lottery. When asked if he was happy with Grunfeld, Leonsis replied that he’s happy if the club meets its goals (Twitter link via Frank). For now, the goal is a playoff spot.

Wizards Granted $8.6MM Disabled Player Exception

The Wizards have been granted a $8.6.41MM disabled player exception for the loss of John Wall, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). Washington will have until March 11 to use the exception before it expires.

[RELATED: Hoops Rumors Glossary: Disabled Player Exception]

Wall opted to undergo season-ending surgery last month to address bone spurs in his left heel, ending his 2018/19 campaign early after playing just 32 games. He averaged 20.7 points, 8.7 assists and 1.5 steals in those games, experiencing pain and discomfort on the court every so often.

For the Wizards, several options exist with their new exception: The team could use it to sign a free agent, claim a player off waivers, or help finalize a trade before the February 7 deadline. The exception counts as a rest-of-season deal if the team uses it to sign a player, though this remains unlikely with the team already being above the luxury tax line.

The Wizards started the season with a disappointing effort, currently holding the 10th-best record in the East at 20-26. Several teams have expressed interest in Bradley Beal and Otto Porter ahead of the deadline, though it remains extremely unlikely that Beal gets traded, Charania reports in a separate story.

Poll: Nets’ Playoff Chances

Heading into the 2018/19 season, many expected the Nets to make another jump in the standings as a result of their players developing and the quality depth they added in the offseason. However, there were no expectations that at the halfway point of the season, the Nets would be sitting in the 7th spot in the Eastern Conference despite not having their best player available for the past two months.

The Nets are 21-23, which is even more impressive when you consider the fact that they were 8-18 in early December. Instead of focusing on getting the best draft pick possible, Kenny Atkinson continued to believe that his team could turn it around, and that’s exactly what they’ve done. Since December 6, the Nets own the league’s 12th-ranked offense and 15th-best defense.

D’Angelo Russell has made strides as a playmaker and scorer, Spencer Dinwiddie is a top candidate for Sixth Man of the Year, and Joe Harris has provided elite shooting and floor-spacing.

Keep in mind that a lot of this recent run by the Nets has come without Allen Crabbe and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, not to mention Caris LeVert. The Nets use their depth and bench to their advantage on a nightly basis, which allows them to stay afloat when injuries strike.

With that being said, many still expect teams like the Pistons and Hornets to improve moving forward, while the Wizards have found new life since John Wall went down for the season. Do the Nets have enough top-end talent to lead them to the playoffs? Or will their strong bench and depth be enough for them to sneak in? Vote in the poll below and share your thoughts in the comments!

Trade Rumors app users, click here to vote

Southeast Notes: Huerter, Beal, Prince, Isaac

The Hawks are in the early stages of a rebuild. Having brought in a new coaching staff and with a new focus on player development, it has been very encouraging for the team to see Kevin Huerter break out in recent weeks. After slowly adjusting to the NBA, Huerter has received more playing time as of late and has been productive in his role. Chris Kirschner of The Athletic details Huerter’s recent stretch of play and what it means for the Hawks’ future.

For the season, Huerter is averaging 8.8 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game while knocking down 38% of his 3-pointers. However, in January the 20-year-old guard is averaging 15 points, 4.8 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game while playing 38 minutes per contest.

As Huerter continues to develop alongside Trae Young and John Collins, it’s clear that the Hawks have quality young talent to grow and develop for years to come.

There’s more from the Southeast division:

Wizards Apply For Disabled Player Exception

The Wizards have applied for an $8.6MM disabled player exception in the wake of the heel surgery that will keep point guard John Wall out for the rest of the season, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Teams are permitted to seek the exception to replace a player who becomes seriously injured. An NBA-designated doctor must determine that the player is likely to be sidelined through June 15, but there’s little doubt in the case of Wall, who is projected to be out of action for six to eight months.

Clubs that receive the DPE can normally sign a replacement for up to 50% of the injured player’s salary, but it is capped at the level of the non-taxpayer mid-level exception, notes Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). That’s why the Wizards are limited to the $8.6MM figure, even though Wall makes more than $19MM this season.

[RELATED: Hoops Rumors Glossary: Disabled Player Exception]

The DPE doesn’t allow teams to expand their rosters, but that’s not presently an issue for Washington, which has 13 players, one below the league minimum, after waiving Ron Baker on Monday. The Wizards have two weeks to re-add a 14th man.

Wall was released from the hospital today, tweets Candace Buckner of The Washington Post. He played just 32 games this season, posting a 20.7/3.6/8.7 line.

Wizards Notes: Beal, Wall, Satoransky

The Wizards have shown no inclination yet that they have any interest in moving star guard Bradley Beal, but a pair of reports have given a clue of what the team’s asking price would be if Beal becomes available.

Rod Beard of The Detroit News tweeted on Wednesday that he has heard the Wizards would seek something like two first-round picks, a “young asset,” and another player in exchange for Beal. Sean Deveney of Sporting News reported something similar today, citing sources who say that Washington would want “two players and two draft picks” for Beal.

Building a deal for Beal might be tricky, since both the players and picks would have to be pretty valuable for the Wizards to consider moving their leading scorer — plus, a potential trade partner would almost certainly have to match Beal’s $25.4MM salary without including any unwanted multiyear contracts. We’ll have to wait to see if any club makes a viable offer to the Wizards in advance of next month’s trade deadline.

Here’s more out of D.C.:

  • In a column for The Athletic, David Aldridge compares the current Wizards to the 2015 Raptors, who were unceremoniously swept out of the first round by Washington. Despite calls to break up their roster, those Raps worked on surrounding Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan with more talent, and built a perennial 50-win contender. Given their salary commitments, the Wizards may have a hard time taking the same approach with Beal and John Wall, but Aldridge believes it’s possible.
  • Within that same article, Aldridge argues that the Wizards should make an effort to keep Wall’s minutes in check next season – and beyond – as they try to keep him healthy. That’s why re-signing RFA-to-be Tomas Satoransky is “a must, not a choice” in the offseason, per Aldridge.
  • As they did last season, the Wizards figure to make a concerted effort to move the ball around as much as possible on offense with Wall sidelined, writes Ben Standig of NBC Sports Washington. Standig points to Wednesday’s win over Atlanta, in which the Wizards racked up 29 assists on 43 field goals, as a prime example of that approach. “We’re definitely going to miss [John] and hate that he’s out. Definitely not saying that we’re a better team without him. That’s far from the truth,” Beal said after Wednesday’s win. “But reality is reality. We have to accept the fact that [John] won’t be with us this year and do our best to make a run at it.”
  • With Markieff Morris set to be sidelined until at least mid-February, the Wizards will have to make some tough roster decisions before the February 7 trade deadline, as Standig details in a separate NBC Sports Washington story.