The Washington Wizards held a press conference on Monday to introduce their many new front office hires, including the promotion of Tommy Sheppard from interim GM to full-time GM and ex-Browns GM Sashi Brown as a new executive as well.
Much of the discussion was on how the Wizards plan to build moving forward, with a lot of discussion about culture and character and process. It was what one would expect from such a press conference for a team expected to struggle next year, with everyone saying the right things and talking about taking the right steps to build sustainable success.
CEO Ted Leonsis was on hand to discuss the state of his franchise and naturally that took a turn to a discussion of the team’s injured star point guard John Wall, who is currently rehabilitating from an Achilles injury suffered earlier in the year. There has been some talk that he’ll miss the entire 2019-20 season, but the Wizards have not, until Monday, offered much in the way of official indication they are leaning that way. Leonsis did confirm that as a very real possibility, noting he’s unlikely to play this season to give him ample time to come back slowly.
It’s not a huge surprise, especially given where the Wizards are expected to finish in the East next season. They’re not a playoff contender as constructed and pushing Wall to come back even on a somewhat normal timetable isn’t really necessary. They can let him get practice reps and non-game work once he’s cleared and save his actual return to live game action for the fall of 2020, in hopes of him being fully healthy.
Leonsis wants the rebuild in Washington to be quick, but even he knows this season is likely to be rough on the court. With an eye on 2020 and beyond, it seems wise to take pressure off of Wall to return this year.