One of the remaining questions heading into the 2019-20 NBA season was whether the Wizards would be granted a Disabled Player Exception for John Wall, who is expected to miss the season due to an Achilles injury. The team applied for the exception last July but we haven’t heard much since. Until now.
On Thursday, Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium reported that the NBA denied the exception.
It is unclear why the NBA would specifically deny the Wizards the exception. One reason perhaps is because Wall made enough progress with his rehab to the point where a return is possible.
According to NBC Sports Washington’s Chase Hughes, Wall would have to be definitively out until June 2020 before the league grants such relief. Wall’s timetable, even if he misses the regular season, wouldn’t be enough to convince the NBA to give the cap relief.
Not surprising as the Wizards needed to prove Wall would be out until June 2020 and that would be 16 mos. after his surgery which has an 11-15 month recovery time. https://t.co/xr3PdfbgoI— Chase Hughes (@ChaseHughesNBCS) October 25, 2019
On the one hand, this sounds like good news, because the Wizards do need Wall to be as close to full strength as possible when he returns — and again, he should be back, ready to play by June 2020. But on the other, this could tempt the Wizards to rush him back, especially if they were banking on signing a player with that exception.
Even if the Wizards did get the exception, it is unlikely that they would have been able to sign quality players who would be a good fit with the longer term vision that General Manager Tommy Sheppard has in place. Any player signed with the exception is effectively a rental because Washington has to re-apply for the exception each year.
This isn’t good news for the Wizards and they just won’t have much salary cap relief for the rest of the season. But I’m of the mindset that I don’t think that the exception was going to do much for the team, even if it was granted.