What can Wizards fans, and the rest of the NBA for that matter, expect out of John Wall next season?
It has been one of the bigger questions surrounding the franchise all season long and it will continue to be that way until the 2020-21 season tips off some time this winter.
Wall missed the entire 2019-20 campaign while he recovered from Achilles surgery, and while he says he’s 110% healthy and ready for next season to begin, it’s difficult to know how he’ll look in his return to the floor after what will be nearly a two-year absence between games played.
We can still take it from those who have been able to watch him up close throughout his recovery, like Wizards head coach Scott Brooks. In an appearance on The Sports Junkies on Monday, Brooks said his point guard is looking quite good in workouts down in Miami.
“[Wall’s] in a great place, he has a great program, working out, continuing to get his rehab, his body looks great from the last time I saw him,” Brooks said. “Talking to our coach that’s with him [in Miami], he said, ‘He looks really good and he’s excited about having a lot more time before next season.’
“From the eye test, I’m excited,” he said. “[Wall’s] gonna be just as good if not better than ever.”
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That’d be nice, wouldn’t it?
Considering at Wall’s best he was an All-NBA level player who helped lead Washington to the brink of a conference finals appearance and Bradley Beal is coming off a career year in which he averaged over 30 points per game, Washington fans have plenty to look forward to if Brooks ends up being right.
This doesn’t mean the eight-pus games the team plays in the Orlando bubble are meaningless, however. Wall and Beal have been great together in the past, but in order to become a true power in the East, the Wizards will need young players like Rui Hachimura, Troy Brown Jr., Moe Wagner and Thomas Bryant to come into their own sooner rather than later.
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A ton of minutes and opportunity in high-pressure games could certainly accelerate their development, and playoff experience is an invaluable asset.
But in the end, this team, as is the case for every team in the NBA, will only go as far as its best players can take it. Getting Wall back healthy and with plenty of recovery time under his belt should bode well for the 2020-21 Wizards.
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