Wizards' John Wall 'not willing to' sit out 2019-20 after Achilles injury

John Wall likely has a ways to go before he’s ready to return to basketball from the ruptured Achilles he suffered in February, but he doesn’t want to miss the 2019-20 season.

The Wizards star indicated that he would like to play as soon as possible Saturday at his annual backpack giveaway in Maryland.

“No I’m not willing to,” Wall said, when asked if he was willing to sit out all of next season. “But that’s what the doctors say, that’s what the team says. So I’m fine listening to them (the team) and not trying to do my own thing.”

Wall, a five-time All-Star, averaged 20.7 points and 8.7 assists per game through 32 appearances in 2018-19. While he was once known as the fastest player in basketball, his pace has slowed significantly in recent years. He’s working to get back into top shape, though.

“Me right now, I don’t know. I don’t know where I’m at,” Wall said when responding to how his recovery is going. “I feel great. I’ve been jogging the last couple days, I’ve been on the court doing basketball workouts, I’m doing weightlifting every day. So I don’t know where I’m at. I don’t want to lie to you guys.I always try to be honest with y’all. So I don’t know exactly where I’m at, but I know I’m making progress and I’m headed where I’m supposed to be. But I’m not rushing myself back.”

The Wizards struggled without Wall and missed the playoffs in 2018-19, posting a 32-50 record. But in his absence Bradley Beal blossomed and put together a career year. Beal averaged career highs in points (25.6), rebounds (5.0) and assists per game (5.5). Washington has offered the 26-year-old guard a three-year, $111 million max extension, but he hasn’t accepted yet and garnered trade interest from multiple teams.

Wall thinks Beal will remain with the Wizards though.

“Brad’s a very smart guy. He’s going to make the best decision for himself and the organization,” Wall said. “He enjoys D.C. I mean, he won the Community Assist Award for all the things he did here. He loves playing with me.”

Wall is owed $170 million over the next four seasons.