The John Wall saga continued earlier this week, when the Washington Wizards guard talked with reporters at a charity function. Prior to handing out food to people ahead of Thanksgiving, Wall took questions, but had little to say about his future with the team, and the various rumors that have popped up in recent days.
Multiple times, Wall offered “no comment” when asked about reports that the Wizards had looked into trading him, and that he had subsequently asked out. Via the Washington Post:
When asked whether he had requested a trade, as the Washington Post reported Friday and Wizards General Manager Tommy Sheppard denied Monday, the 30-year-old point guard said, “No comment.”
“All I can say is this, man: I worked my tail off all summer to prepare myself for the season,” Wall said, “and that’s all I’ve focused on.”
“It’s been cool; just talking,” Wall said of his relationship with Sheppard. “Talk and try to figure things out. That’s the best we can do. We all understand it’s a business.”
Asked what it is that Wall would like to figure out, he clammed up again.
“No comment,” he said.
On Monday, Wizards GM Tommy Sheppard held a press conference, during which he tried to quell all the gossip by stating that the team has no intention of trading their franchise point guard. “There’s no issue with John and I, with John and the Wizards,” Sheppard said.
It’s hard to believe that’s the case given Wall’s curt responses to reporters on Tuesday — especially in the wake of the various rumors that have been floating around since the start of trade and free agency season. The 30-year-old point guard has spent his entire career with the Wizards, but hasn’t played in nearly two full years due to various injuries, including a torn Achilles tendon. Dealing with trade rumors can’t have been what he was hoping for ahead of his final preparations to return to the court.
The Wizards are in a difficult position with Wall, and with their team in general. Their days of making any serious noise in the Eastern Conference with Wall and fellow backcourt star Bradley Beal appear to be over, but Wall’s injury problems and massive contract make it difficult to trade him. Beal would obviously get them a big return, but moving him would mean full-on rebuild mode and languishing in the depths on the East for the foreseeable future.
At least with Wall’s return there was some excitement about the team, and the prospect of potentially challenging for a playoff spot again. Instead, what could have been a feel-good story about Wall’s return has become a cloud hanging over the franchise, and they’re somehow in a more tenuous situation than before.
Courtesy: CBS Sports