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Top Stories of the Week: John Wall is out for the season and the Wizards are at a crossroads

The Wizards are well below .500 and will start the new year without John Wall. That will make for a very interesting start to January.

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NBA: Los Angeles Lakers at Washington Wizards
John Wall is out for the season.
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Hope everyone is enjoying their weekends or perhaps in the middle of a long holiday week. Let’s get through the top stories of the week!

John Wall is out for the season

Wall had a decent 2018-19 season statistically where he is averaging 20.7 points and 8.7 assists this season. But the Wizards are 14-23, well off the mark for the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs. And he missed some games because of heel pain. After seeing a specialist in Wisconsin, Wall decided to have surgery on a Haglund’s Deformity and an Achilles tendon injury on his left heel which will happen by next week. He won’t be back to full basketball activities for six to eight months.

The Wizards are now at a crossroads

The impact of Wall missing the rest of this season can go one of two primary ways.

If you believe that the Wizards are still in position to get back into the playoff pack, this is the Wizards’ chance to show that #EverybodyEats can work. Perhaps it can be back for the long term. Washington won 130-126 over the Charlotte Hornets last night where eight players scored in double figures and the team dished 35 assists. Ben Standig of NBC Sports Washington also added a list of the Wizards players who could be the next hero.

But there are skeptics of this as well. The Wizards’ rating differentials clearly indicate that they are not one of the NBA’s best teams. The team has made several moves like getting Trevor Ariza as a last ditch effort to make a playoff run but things still aren’t really turning around. And there are at least two major contracts on the books (John Wall and Ian Mahinmi) that will be very difficult to move albeit for different reasons.

Since Mahinmi isn’t providing much value on the court while Wall is out for the season with a four-year supermax looming, the most movable contracts are from players who are players like Bradley Beal and Otto Porter. As Jeff Zillgitt of USA TODAY notes, Wall’s injury offers the Wizards a clear chance to reset the franchise. Tom Ley of Deadspin also added that the Wizards are put out of their misery while Danny Chau of The Ringer stated that the Wizards should tank now if they are going to build around Wall for the future, but that of course is unlikely. Finally, Candace Buckner of The Washington Post writes that 2018 as a calendar year was for the most part depressing.

I’m not sure how the Wizards can really start over unless every major star, including Wall is traded. But we’ll see how things go in the next month as the trade deadline nears.

Alright, that’s all from me. Enjoy the rest of your weekend. I’ll have more content for you as we head toward the end of 2018 and ring in the new year on Tuesday!