The Wizards were banking on an All-Star caliber season form John Wall to help snap a four year playoff drought.
Washington has to wait until at least the second month of the season before their point guard can play again.
Initially Wall experienced discomfort in his left knee, but after visiting a specialist in New York, the 22-year-old was diagnosed with a non-traumatic stress injury in his right knee, a prognosis that will keep him out for at least eight weeks.
During both of his seasons in Washington, Wall has led the team in total points, steals and assists.
Only he regressed statistically last year, as his averages in scoring, rebounding, assists and steals, but it was a necessity as he is still learning how to become more of a true point guard instead of just an explosive athlete.
While the total assist numbers dipped, the quality of his passes increased. Wall’s average of assists at the rim and behind the 3-point arc increased over his rookie season.
Wall’s shooting percentage slightly rose and he became a more dominant finisher at the rim, shooting a similar percentage to Russell Westbrook inside of the restricted area.
In order for Wall to become one of the elite point guards in the league, the necessary improvements were simple to recognize.
For the second straight season, he ranked second in the league in turnovers per game, averaging 3.9. Eleven times he registered six or more turnovers in a game and the Wizards won just three of those contests.
The Wizards added some much needed veteran leadership to the roster over the past six months, providing two low post threats to help reduce his turnover margin.
Wall needs to develop a respectable long range shot to become a complete threat on the offensive end.
Only 42 of his 894 field goal attempts came from behind the arc and only three managed to sail through the net. Wall was the only player to attempt more than 30 shots from 3-point range and make fewer than five last season.
His .071 shooting percentage from 3-point range was the worst in the league and he failed to connect from beyond the arc during the last 17 games of the season.
Washington hasn’t posted a winning percentage above 32 percent since the 2007-08 season, its last playoff appearance.
The Wizards begin their season Oct. 30 in Cleveland, but Wall isn’t expected back until December, a projection that has him missing the first 14 games of the year.
Surgery isn’t a requirement, but the former Kentucky star is immediately starting a rehabilitation program.
Since its last playoff run five years ago, the Wizards are have completely rebuilt its roster.
Absent from training camp and out of the lineup for at least the first month of the regular season, Wall may need to elevate his game even more once he returns for Washington to reach the post season.