The Wizards have been a frustrating team this season because of their inconsistency, but when healthy and at their best they remain a threat in the Eastern Conference. Their backcourt tandem of John Wall and Bradley Beal are the biggest reason for Washington’s success and the two were set to be on the All-Star team together for the first time.
However, John Wall has been dealing with a nagging knee injury and after his latest MRI, the Wizards and Wall have decided he should undergo a procedure on his knee to clean it up so he can be back prior to the playoff push.
Candace Buckner of the Washington Post notes Wall will miss six weeks with the injury, meaning he’ll also miss the All-Star Game, while ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski notes the timeline could be closer to two full months.
This will be the second time a player on LeBron James’ team has had to pull out of the game due to injury with the league announcing a replacement — one would expect either Andre Drummond or Goran Dragic to get the nod.
The more important issue is how the Wizards will cope without Wall, as he is their most important player. With Wall on the court, the Wizards have an offensive rating of 109 and a defensive rating of 104.7 compared to a 104.3 offensive rating and 106.1 defensive rating when he is off the floor. In short, Washington is a much better team with John Wall, which comes as no surprise.
At 27-22, the Wizards are only two games up on the eighth seed right now (4.5 games up on the Pistons in ninth) and they will need to find a way to at least tread water at a .500 mark to ensure they are still in playoff position for Wall’s return. It will be interesting to see if the Wizards look for some added point guard depth at the upcoming trade deadline. Tim Frazier will assume starting duties, but beyond him there’s not really another true point guard on Washington’s roster.
UPDATE: Wall underwent surgery on his injured knee on Wednesday, and according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the All-Star guard could miss a little longer than originally anticipated. Wojnarowski reported that while the bottom end of Wall’s timeline to return is still six weeks, it’s possible that he might need an extra week or two beyond that.