U.S. Markets open in 2 hrs 9 mins

John Wall's knee needs a 'clean-up,' which makes things messy for the Wizards

John Wall has already missed 10 games this season dealing with persistent soreness in his left knee. He’s about to miss an awful lot more.

[Your chance to win on football’s biggest day. Sign up for Squares Pick’em]

After Wall missed the Washington Wizards’ Saturday win over the Atlanta Hawks due to knee trouble, Ben Standig of FanRag Sports reported that multiple sources indicated “a concern the absence may end up quite a bit longer.” Those fears were confirmed on Tuesday morning by Candace Buckner of the Washington Post, who reported that Wall will undergo a “clean-up” procedure on the bothersome knee that is expected to keep him out for six to eight weeks.

In the short term, that means Wall won’t participate in next month’s 2018 NBA All-Star Game, where he was set to make his fifth straight appearance as a coach-selected reserve drafted to LeBron James’ team. Wall now becomes the second All-Star taken off the board due to injury, joining friend and former Kentucky teammate DeMarcus Cousins, who ruptured his Achilles tendon this weekend. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver named Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George to replace Cousins; who he’ll tab to head to L.A. in Wall’s stead remains to be seen. (Candidates include Detroit Pistons center Andre Drummond, Philadelphia 76ers rookie Ben Simmons, Charlotte Hornets point guard Kemba Walker and Miami Heat point guard Goran Dragic.)

Looking to games that matter, though, Wall’s injury deals a major blow to the Wizards’ chances of making a fourth playoff trip in five years. It also must send shivers down the spines of Washington’s front office, which forked over a four-year, $170 million extension to retain Wall this past summer despite multiple prior knee issues, including 33 games lost to a “stress injury” in 2012-13, and a pair of other “clean-up” surgeries on his knees during the summer of 2016.

Coming on the heels of reports that player and team “have no answers as to why he periodically deals with knee soreness” that comes and goes, resulting in him needing his knee drained “a few times” in recent months and leaving him looking like a superhero on some nights and a sidekick on others, the Wizards must now have at least some level of concern about ongoing knee woes turning a 27-year-old cornerstone into a 30-year-old millstone.

How will the Wizards stay afloat with John Wall sidelined for six to eight weeks? (Getty)

Washington enters Tuesday’s action at 27-22, just 1 1/2 games behind the Heat for the No. 4 spot in the East. They’re also only two games up on the No. 8 Sixers and 4 1/2 games ahead of ninth-place Detroit, who just added a five-time All-Star of its own in an attempt to save a spiraling season.

The Wizards are no stranger to such moves, having flipped first-rounders for immediate help — Bojan Bogdanovic last year, Markieff Morris in 2016, Marcin Gortat in 2013 — several times in recent years. For now, according to NBA.com’s David Aldridge, Washington is resisting the urge to put another future No. 1 on the table to tide the Wiz over in Wall’s absence … unless, of course, a “star” becomes involved before the Feb. 8 trade deadline, leaving more than a week for things to get weirder in the league, and for things to get worse in D.C. And they probably will:


A six-to-eight-week timeline would put Wall on the shelf for about 20 to 25 games, with 16 of the Wizards’ next 20 coming against opponents with winning records. Some of those opponents might matter more than others.

The Wizards will play their final two regular-season games against the eighth-seeded Sixers (with whom they’ve split their first two) in February. They’ll play all three of their games against the seventh-seeded Indiana Pacers between now and St. Patrick’s Day. They’ve got their final game of the year against the fifth-seeded Milwaukee Bucks on Feb. 27, needing a win to avoid handing Giannis Antetokounmpo a head-to-head tiebreaker.

Washington’s already won its season series with Detroit, which helps, and barring some drastic additions, it seems unlikely that the 22-28 New York Knicks or 20-29 Hornets will be poised to make a leap up the standings. But Scott Brooks will have to lead his team into a handful of very important games, contests that could be crucial for tiebreakers and postseason positioning, without the franchise’s signature star and top playmaker.

Really, the Wizards have been without Wall — the real John Wall — for most of the year, ever since he suffered a knee-to-knee collision during an early November game against the Dallas Mavericks. Wall continued to play through his discomfort, but the pain and swelling eventually led the team to shut him down for several weeks to have platelet-rich plasma treatment and viscosupplementation injections aimed at nursing the balky knee back to health.

Wall returned to the court on Dec. 13, and has shown flashes of his familiar elite form — a string of double-digit assist nights around Christmas, consecutive 30-plus-point performances earlier this month. In the main, though, Wall has generally looked a bit less than what we’ve come to expect, averaging 18.6 points, 9.3 assists, 3.7 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 1.1 blocks in 34.2 minutes per game since his return while shooting just 40.5 percent from the floor.

Amid Wall’s recession, running buddy Bradley Beal has posted the best season of his pro career, earning his first ever All-Star nod for his work as the Wizards’ leading scorer. The silver lining for Wizards fans: Beal’s still around to carry the load, and Washington has been able to tread water without Wall this season, going 6-6 in his 12 total absences.

There’s a gray cloud there, though. As well as Beal has played this year, he hasn’t been able to carry the Wizards by himself without Wall riding shotgun. When they share the floor, Washington has outscored opponents by 148 points in 1,164 minutes this season, per NBA.com; when Beal’s played without Wall, the Wiz have barely broken even, going +2 in 599 minutes.

Even without looking quite like himself, with Wall on the floor, the Wizards have outscored opponents by 4.3 points per 100 possessions, equivalent to the Boston Celtics’ fourth-best-in-the-NBA full-season net rating. They’ve been outscored by 1.9 points-per-100 with him off it, a bottom-10 mark. When Wall has played, the Wizards have scored like a top-five offense and defended like a top-eight defense. With him unavailable, they’ve produced and prevented points at the same levels as the 16-35 Mavericks.

To some degree, this is understandable. Tim Frazier’s a serviceable backup capable of more in spot-start duty, and Tomas Satoransky can offer a steady hand as a combo guard on and off the ball. But expecting much more than that is expecting too much. Wizards fans (and some players) have long called Ernie Grunfeld onto the carpet for the mistakes he’s made in building threadbare benches and ramshackle rotations, but you can’t really ding him for not having a ready replacement for John Wall, because he’s John freaking Wall.

In this case, the efficiency stats bear out what the eye test tells you. While Beal’s great, and Otto Porter’s worth the nine figures he got, and Kelly Oubre’s blossoming, John Wall is what makes the Wizards a playoff team. For the next two months, they’re going to have to act as if without him, lest they find themselves on the outside looking in, and too far gone to make up the distance, by the time he comes back.

– – – – – – –

Dan Devine is a writer and editor for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at devine@oath.com or follow him on Twitter!

More from Yahoo Sports:

Caught: Culprit who yelled during Tiger’s backswing
Super Bowl or not, Eagles won’t have a QB controversy
As Indians dump Wahoo, this should be new logo
Eric Adelson: Korea tensions have serious meaning for one Patriot

  • Trump just sent the wrong message on a brutal day in the stock markets
    Finance
    Yahoo Finance

    Trump just sent the wrong message on a brutal day in the stock markets

    On a brutal day in the stock markets the last thing investors want to see is another attack on the Federal Reserve by President Donald Trump. Trump reportedly told a group of reporters on Tuesday that he would like to see lower interest rates from the Federal Reserve. The president added that the biggest problem right now isn’t the trade war with China (among other geopolitical issues), but rather the Jerome Powell led Federal Reserve.

  • Finance
    Investopedia

    The Worst is Yet to Come for Stocks: Morgan Stanley

    Investors looking for solace amid the wave of market sell-offs may argue that the S&P 500 has fallen only 9% from its all-time highs in September, hardly a devastating decline. “Not only does the price action this year suggest we are in the midst of a bear market—more than 40 percent of the stocks in the S&P 500 are down at least 20 percent—but it also trades like a bear market,” wrote the bank’s analysts.

  • What You Must Know About AT&T Inc’s (NYSE:T) Financial Strength
    Finance
    Simply Wall St.

    What You Must Know About AT&T Inc’s (NYSE:T) Financial Strength

    Investors seeking to preserve capital in a volatile environment might consider large-cap stocks such as AT&T Inc (NYSE:T) a safer option. Today we will look at AT&T’s financial liquidity and debt levels, which are strong indicators for whether the company can weather economic downturns or fund strategic acquisitions for future growth. Remember this is a very top-level look that focuses exclusively on financial health, so I recommend a deeper analysis into T here.

  • Business
    CNBC

    The sell-off can't end until these 10 problems are fixed, Jim Cramer argues

    CNBC's Jim Cramer pinpoints the 10 drivers of the stock market's sell-off. Ten things need to change for the stock market to come back from its Monday declines , CNBC's Jim Cramer said as high-profile technology stocks Facebook FB and Apple AAPL led the major averages lower. Here are the various reasons that stocks are falling and what it would take for them to turn, according to Cramer: 1.

  • Investors are concerned about Fed’s plan to raise rates: Stephen Moore
    Business
    Fox Business Videos

    Investors are concerned about Fed’s plan to raise rates: Stephen Moore

    Trump 2020 surrogate Stephen Moore discusses how the Federal Reserve’s rate hikes are hurting the U.S. economy.

  • Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) Gains As Market Dips: What You Should Know
    Finance
    Zacks

    Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) Gains As Market Dips: What You Should Know

    This has lagged the Computer and Technology sector's loss of 5.96% and the S&P 500's loss of 2.57% in that time. AMD's full-year Zacks Consensus Estimates are calling for earnings of $0.46 per share and revenue of $6.54 billion. As a result, we can interpret positive estimate revisions as a good sign for the company's business outlook.

  • Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Calls for Election Day to Become a National Holiday, Replacing Columbus Day
    Politics
    Fortune

    Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Calls for Election Day to Become a National Holiday, Replacing Columbus Day

    Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the politician who soon will become the youngest woman to serve in Congress, proposed replacing Columbus Day with a national voting holiday on Election Day. In short order, David Martosko, U.S. political editor for Britain’s Daily Mail, weighed in to accuse Ocasio-Cortez of “angling for more vacation days.” That tweet struck many as a not-so-subtle reference to the inaccurate yet longstanding stereotype of Hispanics as lazy.

  • Finance
    CNBC

    There are a lot of great buys thanks to sell-off: Value investor David Katz

    "We think there are a lot of great buys here we would be buying if you have a 6- to 12-month" timeline, says David Katz, CIO of Matrix Asset Advisors. Katz says eBay, Schlumberger and Alphabet are buying opportunities. The market sell-off has created a buying opportunity for investors who can afford to be a little patient, noted value investor David Katz told CNBC on Tuesday.

  • Why Applied Materials Stock Is Down 30% So Far in 2018
    Business
    Motley Fool

    Why Applied Materials Stock Is Down 30% So Far in 2018

    Semiconductor stocks have been under pressure this year. Several Wall Street analysts have downgraded their outlook for the industry as they see sales growth grinding to a halt in 2019 or even experiencing a downturn. Many chipmakers have suffered as a result, even as they continue to post positive momentum and an optimistic outlook.

  • 7 High-Yield Safety Stocks to Buy for 2019
    Finance
    InvestorPlace

    7 High-Yield Safety Stocks to Buy for 2019

    Given the heavy weighting these tech stocks enjoy in the market-cap weighted indices such as the S&P 500, the pain is being felt broadly with the October lows at risk of being violated. Watch for a possible move back to the high set in December 2017, which would be worth a gain of more than 9% for D stock from here.

  • Where Will Home Depot Be in 5 Years?
    Business
    Motley Fool

    Where Will Home Depot Be in 5 Years?

    For longtime Home Depot Inc. (NYSE: HD) investors, third-quarter 2018 was more of the same. Net sales rose to $26.3 billion, a 5.1% increase year over year, and diluted earnings per share (EPS) grew to $2.51, a 36.4% jump year over year, as reported by the company earlier this month. Shareholders are used to the giant home-improvement retailer realizing strong quarterly results, yet shares of Home Depot are now down about 7% year to date, trailing the S&P 500 index by about 10% over the same period.

  • Goldman Thinks Apple Missed the Mark With iPhone XR
    Business
    Motley Fool

    Goldman Thinks Apple Missed the Mark With iPhone XR

    Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) just can't get a break from souring investor sentiment. Evidence continues to mount that demand for the newest iPhones may be tepid, and investors remain intensely focused on unit sales even as the company keeps trying to get shareholders to appreciate the services business more. Apple said earlier this month that it will no longer disclose unit volumes.

  • The tech-stock selloff is a golden opportunity to buy Microsoft, Apple, Netflix and Tesla
    News
    MarketWatch

    The tech-stock selloff is a golden opportunity to buy Microsoft, Apple, Netflix and Tesla

    Target, which is still up substantially this year, is no General Electric (GE) sorting through underperforming businesses and realizing that it wasted so much money on stock buybacks that the ex-icon of America’s Industrial Might has a negative tangible book value. Or, put it this way: How much sense did it make when the market’s reaction to a weak report on home-builder sentiment and foot traffic at new-home communities was to sell off technology stocks? Julius was Julius Westheimer, who in my own misspent youth was a Baltimore stockbroker and denizen of the Baltimore Sun, where he was a columnist to my cub reporter, and a regular on Wall $treet Week, a public-TV stock-market show produced at Maryland Public TV.

  • Don't buy this dip, says Morgan Stanley's top strategist
    Business
    CNBC Videos

    Don't buy this dip, says Morgan Stanley's top strategist

    Mike Wilson, Morgan Stanley, says this isn't a buy the dip market. With CNBC's Melissa Lee and the Fast Money traders, Tim Seymour, Pete Najarian, Dan Nathan and Guy Adami.

  • The Smartest People on Wall Street Are Buying These 3 Stocks -- Should You Follow?
    Business
    Motley Fool

    The Smartest People on Wall Street Are Buying These 3 Stocks -- Should You Follow?

    To get a leg up on average returns, many investors follow what Wall Street's best and brightest are doing. Chuck Saletta (Berkshire Hathaway): Warren Buffett has earned a spot among the ranks of the world's greatest investors through decades of market trouncing returns at the helm of Berkshire Hathaway.

  • Visa (V) Stock Moves -1.17%: What You Should Know
    Finance
    Zacks

    Visa (V) Stock Moves -1.17%: What You Should Know

    Visa (V) closed the most recent trading day at $133.19, moving -1.17% from the previous trading session. This has was narrower than the Business Services sector's loss of 4.41% and lagged the S&P 500's loss of 2.57% in that time. Meanwhile, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for revenue is projecting net sales of $5.40 billion, up 11.02% from the year-ago period.

  • Why Oil Stocks Are Getting Pummeled Today
    Business
    Motley Fool

    Why Oil Stocks Are Getting Pummeled Today

    The bear-market mauling of crude oil prices continued on Tuesday, with oil falling another 7% on the day, which pushed the U.S. oil benchmark price, WTI, to around $53 per barrel. Among the biggest decliners were Seadrill (NYSE: SDRL), Weatherford International (NYSE: WFT), Oasis Petroleum (NYSE: OAS), Denbury Resources (NYSE: DNR), and Baytex Energy (NYSE: BTE), which all dropped double digits by midafternoon.

  • Best Amazon Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals so far
    News
    The Telegraph

    Best Amazon Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals so far

    As supreme ruler of the online retail landscape, Amazon has built quite the reputation for extraordinary Black Friday deals. Last year alone the selection was so generous and diverse that the website went on to handle 54.9% of all online Black Friday transactions, according to Hitwise data cited in Dealerscope. The weekend was so successful for the company, in fact, that Cyber Monday went on to become the biggest shopping day in the company’s history.

  • The Pattern in AAPL Stock Bears a Striking Resemblance to 2012
    Finance
    InvestorPlace

    The Pattern in AAPL Stock Bears a Striking Resemblance to 2012

    Like many other tech oriented companies, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has been trending lower since the beginning of October. At this point, AAPL stock is facing its eighth straight week of losses, and that’s the longest losing streak for the stock since a similar drop from September to November of 2012. In 2012, AAPL stock tried to find support at its 52-week moving average, and it did manage a small bounce over a couple of weeks after reaching that moving average.

  • Micron (MU) Dips More Than Broader Markets: What You Should Know
    Finance
    Zacks

    Micron (MU) Dips More Than Broader Markets: What You Should Know

    This has lagged the Computer and Technology sector's loss of 5.96% and the S&P 500's loss of 2.57% in that time. The company is expected to report EPS of $2.90, up 18.37% from the prior-year quarter. Meanwhile, our latest consensus estimate is calling for revenue of $8.03 billion, up 18.04% from the prior-year quarter.

  • 3 Top Large-Cap Stocks to Buy in November
    Business
    Motley Fool

    3 Top Large-Cap Stocks to Buy in November

    Large-cap stocks typically provide investors with consistency and stability, two features investors are sorely lacking from the rest of the market these days. While not a guarantee against suffering whipsaws in volatility, large-cap stocks can provide investors with a bit more than a modicum of reassurance that they will be around tomorrow when all is said and done. Three Motley Fool contributors selected AbbVie (NYSE: ABBV), 3M (NYSE: MMM), and Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) as large-cap stocks to buy in November.

  • Finance
    InvestorPlace

    Is Citigroup Stock Too Cheap To Ignore?

    Banking on Citigroup (NYSE:C) stock has turned out to be a bad move. For the year so far, the return of Citigroup stock is an awful -17.3%. During the past ten years, C stock has posted an average annual return of -3.27%.

  • 2 Stocks With Strong Double-Digit Dividend Growth
    Business
    Motley Fool

    2 Stocks With Strong Double-Digit Dividend Growth

    Such a sharp decline in the overall stock market may have many investors looking to invest more of their money in dividend stocks. Quality dividend stocks provide investors with steady income -- even in a down market. For investors looking to add more income to their portfolio, here are two stocks that not only pay dividends but also have seen their dividend increase rapidly recently.

  • AT&T (T) Gains As Market Dips: What You Should Know
    Finance
    Zacks

    AT&T (T) Gains As Market Dips: What You Should Know

    Heading into today, shares of the telecommunications company had lost 6.8% over the past month, lagging the Computer and Technology sector's loss of 5.28% and the S&P 500's loss of 2.43% in that time. For the full year, our Zacks Consensus Estimates are projecting earnings of $3.51 per share and revenue of $175.11 billion, which would represent changes of +15.08% and +9.07%, respectively, from the prior year. As such, positive estimate revisions reflect analyst optimism about the company's business and profitability.

  • Big tech stocks are getting crushed — here's the simple explanation why
    Finance
    Yahoo Finance

    Big tech stocks are getting crushed — here's the simple explanation why

    Reality continues to rain down on formerly high-flying big tech stocks. Sales growth in 2019 will probably be less explosive than 2018. Blame slowing user growth at the likes of Facebook (FB) or more competition for Amazon (AMZN) from the increasingly digitally savvy Target – the fact is the sales growth environment for big tech is taking a turn for the worse.