The Washington Wizards and John Wall have both said he won’t return this season, but some Eastern Conference teams are expecting otherwise.
Some teams who are heading to Orlando are planning for the possibility that Wall will suit up for the first time this season.
Wall has been out since December 2018 due to a heel injury.
He later suffered an Achilles tendon rupture while recovering from his first surgery.
He then had surgery for the Achilles in February 2019.
Wizards owner Ted Leonsis recently stated that Wall will be in a much better place physically when he returns.
Wizards GM Tommy Sheppard also told reporters back in February that the team was planning for Wall to miss the entire season.
“I think we have maintained that all along,” Sheppard said, per NBC Sports Washington’s Chase Hughes. “We didn’t plan on seeing him this year. I think that’s fair to John, to manage the expectations for him. He’s on his way, but he’s not there and he’s not close yet. He’s a lot closer than he was a year ago when the injury happened.”
The team initially said that Wall needed around 12 months to recover.
Teams in the East preparing as if Wall will play shouldn’t change their strategy much if he ends up not playing, so it’s best to be ready in case.
The NBA’s hiatus due to the coronavirus has also led to speculation about other stars such as Kevin Durant suiting up for playoffs.
Durant’s agent Rich Kleiman has shut down those rumors.
Some might argue that Wall will be ready to go and that he’s at about the same point as his teammates in terms of preparation, while others will argue that it’s too risky to throw him into meaningful games with playoff implications.