John Wall is planning to undergo season-ending surgery to repair bone spurs in his heel that will sideline him for six to eight months, according to Adrian Wojnarowski and Brian Windhorst of ESPN.
Doctors determined the procedure is necessary for Wall to remedy an issue that has bothered him for over a year. Wall met with specialist Dr. Robert Anderson on Saturday, who recommended the surgery.
Wall was trying to play through the injury but it was getting worse, sources said, and opting to have the surgery now now should allow him to return healthy for the start of next season.
The bone spurs have had a clear impact on his ability to help the Wizards out of their rut. Wall has missed two games due to the injury and had two of the worst performances of his career while trying to play through the injury this month.
Now that it appears Wall is done for the season, the team has to make some tough decisions on how to handle the rest of the season. The team has a little over a month before the trade deadline to determine if they want to try to make a rally similar to what they did last season to get back in the playoff race, or if they want to pack it in and avoid paying the luxury tax for a team that faces a steep uphill climb to get back in the hunt.
If the Wizards still want to push for the playoffs, they need to get it together quickly. They’re ten games under .500, 4.5 games out of eighth place in the East, and they just lost at home to Chicago Bulls. Oh, and currently set to pay over $6 million in luxury taxes.
The biggest decision the team faces is what to do with Trevor Ariza. He’s an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season and there are plenty of contending teams that could use him. If the Wizards don’t plan on keeping him beyond this season or they’re worried about their chances of keeping him, he’s the most logical candidate to help them get back under the luxury tax and hopefully get back some kind of asset for the future.
Ariza isn’t the only player the team will need to make a decision on before the deadline. Markieff Morris, Tomas Satoransky, Jeff Green, Thomas Bryant, and Sam Dekker are all also in the final year of their deals, although Satoransky, Dekker, and Bryant are all restricted free agents.
As Bobby Marks of ESPN notes, the Wizards will likely be able to apply for a Disabled Player Exception worth up to $8.6 million which they could use to sign a player or acquire one in the last year of their contract through waivers or a trade. Of course, if they did this, it would add to their payroll and luxury tax, so it wouldn’t help the team if they’re looking to get off money.