Derrick Rose may be the most high-profile point guard missing from the NBA this season, but John Wall's absence has demoralized the nation's capital and has Washington well on its way to securing a top-five pick in next year's NBA draft.
As a result of Wall's missed time, Washington ranks dead last in the league in points per game (89.8) and 25th in assists per game (20)—not surprising considering that Wall was the team's leading scorer and assist man a year ago.
No NBA team has been worse than the Wizards through the first seven weeks of the season (3-18), and with Wall taking longer and longer to return, the possibility of Washington having to play the rest of the year without the 22-year-old star is becoming more realistic by the day.
Wall discussed the notion of missing the entire 2012-13 season to recover (via Michael Lee):
I’m not thinking like that. Hopefully the time I’ve taken off and the shots I got and the treatment I’ve been getting is helping me get healthy so I can play basketball this season. You don’t want to miss a whole season. If it comes to it, you have to, but I’m trying not to think that far ahead.
The former No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 NBA draft, Wall is the player the Wizards are aiming to rebuild their franchise around. Losing him for the year would be devastating, but worth it if it means prolonging his career.
Wall admitted that the pain was unbearable at times, but has gotten better with time (via Michael Lee):
Before there was so much pain you couldn’t even run on it. I couldn’t stretch my leg out at one point. It’s been getting better. I just got to take my time and see where it goes from there.
Today's NBA is driven by stellar point guard play, and possessing a talented floor general is a requirement for any team that hopes to be competitive.
Washington no doubt has a gifted point guard in Wall, a young, explosive player who's averaging 16.3 points and 8.2 assists per game for his career. As long as he's the player the Wizards build their roster around, rushing him back to the court won't be on their list of options.
Wall and the Wizards are in a precarious situation at the moment, and with the season seemingly lost already, taking the conservative route is the best way to ensure that both sides' futures remain bright.
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