Wall will have surgery to repair the injury and was suffering with an infection after having surgery in January. Rachel Nichols tweeted that Wall suffered the year-long injury by falling in his home.
The Wizards are in the playoff hunt in the Eastern Conference, sitting three games back of the eighth-placed Miami Heat. Washington traded for Trevor Ariza earlier this season as they look to make the playoffs, though they are unlikely to make it past the first round.
They have been expected to be a quiet team ahead of Thursday’s trade deadline. Wall was due to be back for next season, but this latest injury means he might not take the court at all in the 2019/20 campaign. This is the same injury DeMarcus Cousins has just returned from, and one that has ruined NBA careers in the past.
Wall is starting his monster $140 million contract extension next season. His deal already looked an issue for the Wizards – this injury could see it hold the franchise back for years to come.
Bradley Beal and Otto Porter Jr. have been trade candidates all season, but Washington have been keen to keep them after Wall’s injury. The pair are under control for several more seasons and could be value trade chips as smaller market teams look to improve. Both players would fit on plenty of contending rosters.
With Wall taking up much of their cap space and out injured for a prolonged period, it might be time for a rebuild in the capital. Beal and Porter could attract young players and picks if made available before the deadline, giving the Wizards a core to build around long-term. This roster is limited while Wall is occupying so much cash and not contributing.
Waiting out the season for Wall to return made sense. This horrible injury for an explosive player has drastically changed the situation, leaving the Washington front office in a tricky spot. It’s possible they will not be a contender beyond the playoffs first round until Wall’s contract ends or, at the very least, until 2020/21.
It remains unlikely the Wizards do anything drastic this week. If they do, though, it could create a bidding war across the NBA.