As John Wall's career is in transition, so is the franchise for which he plays. The Washington Wizards are in the middle of finding a new general manager, one to replace Ernie Grunfeld as the team's architect.
Wall is only two months away from recovering from a ruptured left Achilles tendon. He is likely to be out until at least February 2020 and he could miss the entire 2019-20 season.
But whoever the Wizards hire could make radical changes in the organization that affect the course of the team in the short and long term. With a four-year supermax contract starting next season, Wall is paying close attention to each of his moves.
He met with reporters for the first time in months during the half-time of the end of the Wizards' season on Tuesday night and offered his thoughts on Grunfeld's departure and what might come after the franchise.
As for Grunfeld, Wall thanked the man who recruited him No. 1 overall in 2010.
"I wish him the best of luck and I hope he can get another job somewhere, I appreciate everything he has done for us and everything he did for my career," said Wall.
Wall, 28, is still not sure if he will play next year. He plans to rehabilitate in Miami this summer, but will stay several weeks after the season to see in which direction the majority owner, Ted Leonsis, goes with the position of general manager.
Wall expressed confidence in Leonsis' ability to make the right decision and believes that there could be some benefits if he leaves the organization with the employee. Tommy Sheppard, senior vice president of basketball operations, is becoming the interim general manager after finishing No. 2 at Grunfeld.
"Whoever we have or hire will be someone who has observed us from outside, not from within, and will understand what this team needs and what kind of culture we need here, what kind of veterans we need and what kind of leaders we need." To make this team the right team, "said Wall.
The Wizards could have many changes this season beyond their GM. They may have a new head coach, depending on what happens with Scott Brooks. They could also have another franchise building block through their first round selection.
It is not yet known where the Wizards will be selected, but there is a possibility that they have a high selection. There is also the possibility that a point guard is the best player on the board in June. If you choose between the first four, maybe Ja Morant from Murray State could be available.
Wall was asked if the Wizards would possibly take a guard position in the draft. He said all the right things, at least until the end.
"It would be fine, I would not have any problem with that because it is what it is, you have to do what's best for the team, you have to make sure we have pieces, and when I get back, he can be a great support for me," Wall said.
If the Wizards selected a shipowner and that player became a star or, at least, very good, it could present an interesting dynamic when Wall returns.
At the end of each season, Wall usually rushes to offer ideas about what the team needs to add next summer. Last year, for example, he said the Wizards should add a great athletic man. Then they discarded Marcin Gortat and signed with Dwight Howard.
This time, Wall did not cite a specific type of player that is missing from the list. But he has noticed something about his team that he would like to see change.
"I think most of the years I've been here we've always had five or six men on a one-year contract, it's always hard to deal with them because they fight for their lives and fight to make sure they keep their jobs." in this league. I think you want to get and keep a core group that you know will be here for a while, "he said.
The Wizards entered this season with the second-longest contract of any team, just behind the New Orleans Pelicans. The theme was minimized by Wizards players, including Wall, in the preseason. But, as Wall now says, it was a problem.
While Wall monitors the movements of the Wizards, he remains patient in his rehabilitation, knowing that he is likely to have at least 10 months left. Going back to some point next season is still the goal, but it's too early to know if you can do it.
"I still have no idea, my goal is," he said.
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