If you have doubts about what John Wall will look like when he returns to the court with the Washington Wizards, know that he doesn’t.
The NBA hasn’t played a game since March 11. The Wizards last took the court on March 10. But some players are more ready than ever for NBA action. Chief among them is John Wall.
During a conference call with reporters to discuss Wall’s ‘202 Assist’ program that is raising money to provide rent relief for residents in D.C.’s Ward 8, Wall’s return to the court eventually came up.
John Wall feels “110 percent” as his Achilles recovery continues.
Fortunately for Wizards fans, the current COVID-19 pandemic and play stoppage have not hindered his recovery. On the call, Wall claimed to be feeling “110 percent.”
This isn’t the first time Wall has warned us about what the rest of the league will have to deal with once he returns. In late April, Wall joined the All the Smoke podcast and claimed we haven’t even seen the best version of John Wall, yet.
The fact that Wall’s rehab and return came up during a call about a charity organization is not surprising at all. Even as Beal continues to emerge as one of the NBA’s top scorers, the talk around Wall’s return is inescapable.
It’s obvious that the Wizards’ future success hinges on Wall’s ability to return and still produce on a roster where Bradley Beal and Thomas Bryant are the only guys he’s previously shared the floor with.
So what would 110 percent Wall look like? If 2016-17, the last season in which Wall was fully healthy, is a barometer, we’re in for a treat. Wall averaged 23 points and nearly 11 assists that season on his way to All-NBA honors. Since then, he hasn’t been 100 percent, but he’s still been good.
Each of Wall’s last two seasons ended shortly due to injury, and he was slowed by those injuries for at least a part of each season. Regardless, he still put up All-Star numbers, averaging 20 points, 9.2 assists, 3.6 rebounds, and 1.45 steals in 72 total games over those two seasons
However, even though Wall feels healthy, he continues to echo the front office. No John Wall until NEXT season. Although Wall claims to be healthy, it’s unclear how basketball ready he is even if his Achilles is 110 percent. Wall hasn’t played an NBA game since December 26, 2018. He needs to work his way back. And regardless how confident he feels, he’s still facing an uphill battle.
With the current season still a huge question mark as the NBA searches for ways to safely finish the season, it’s more unclear than ever when we’ll see Wall manning the point once again. But with little to play for this season (the Wizards are currently 5.5 games out of a playoff spot after 64 games), the choice to sit Wall until next season is the right one. Even if there is a solid argument for bringing him back.
But I’m not sure how much longer I can wait. Next season can’t come soon enough.
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