Wizards head coach Scott Brooks has not completely ruled out the possibility of injured former All-Star point guard John Wall returning during the 2019/20 NBA season, according to Candace Buckner of The Washington Post (Twitter link)
“It’s not like we’re shutting him down and focusing on the 2020/2021 season,” Brooks said, per Buckner. Brooks noted (Twitter link) that Wall has been practicing one-on-one against Wizards assistant coaches.
“It’s going to happen organically,” Brooks said when discussing Wall’s actual return timeline. “He’s getting after every workout.”
Wall tore his Achilles at his home in January while recovering from a heel injury. He has not played an NBA game since December 26, 2018. Injuries have been a persistent problem for the five-time All-Star, who was drafted No. 1 in 2010.
Wall suited up for just 41 games during the 2017/18 season due to a nagging knee issue that required surgery. He was only available for 32 games the next year, 2018/19, before incurring the heel and Achilles injuries. He has missed 26 games and counting in 2019/20 with the same injury. The 29-year-old point guard is in the first season of a four-year, $171.1MM contract extension.
Isaiah Thomas, on a one-year, $2.3MM veteran’s minimum salary, is currently revitalizing his career as the Wizards’ starting point guard in Wall’s stead. Before tonight’s 110-109 loss to the Bulls (in which he scored 16 points), Thomas was averaging 13.2 PPG and 5.1 APG in just 24.9 MPG, while shooting 43.3% from deep and 46.2% from the field.