- The Washington Times
Tuesday, November 24, 2020

On Monday, general manager Tommy Sheppard insisted John Wall hadn’t requested a trade from the Wizards.

A day later, Wall wasn’t exactly backing that up.

The Wizards star point guard offered a “no comment” when asked Tuesday if he demanded to be moved. The Athletic reported Friday that Wall wants out out of the District. 

Meeting with reporters at a charity event to provide food to families in Ward 8, Wall declined to elaborate — nor did he definitively say that wanted to be with the Wizards.

“All I can say is this, man, I worked my tail off all summer to prepare myself for the season and that’s all I’m focused on,” Wall said. 

Wall hasn’t played in an NBA game since 2018, missing time because of multiple injuries. He suffered a season-ending heel injury and then later tore his Achilles during his recovery, forcing him to miss all of last season.

In Wall’s absence, Bradley Beal has become Washington’s top player — with Sheppard calling the guard a cornerstone after Beal’s massive improvement over the last two years.

Asked if Wall has to make any mental adjustments to share the stage with Beal, Sheppard said they were eager to play each other again.

“For John to come in, the most important thing for him — and he will tell you this — is stay focused on coming out, being healthy and playing the very best basketball he can,” Sheppard said. “The rest takes care of itself. … But I stand where we were before: Bradley has earned the right. He has done everything possible, and he’s carried a big load for two years.

“Now Bradley gets his backcourt mate back, that’s pretty exciting stuff for us. We look forward to it.”

Washington was rumored to be discussing trading Wall for Houston guard Russell Westbrook, though talks appear to have stalled. 

Sheppard said Monday that Washington has “no plans” to move on from the 30-year-old. Wall is set to make more than $40 million per season over the next two years and holds a $47 million player option after that — making it difficult to find a trade partner.

• Matthew Paras can be reached at mparas@washingtontimes.com.

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