John Wall admits it’s ‘tough’ to see Markieff Morris, Otto Porter Jr. leave Wizards
John Wall won’t be playing elsewhere anytime soon, for better or worse for the Washington Wizards. But after the five-time All-Star, already out with a heel injury, ruptured his Achilles tendon while falling at home last week, the Wizards reacted by shipping out two long-time rotation players, Markieff Morris and Otto Porter, Jr., to dip below the luxury tax and better situate themselves for the future. It was a good decision by general manager Ernie Grunfeld, and an obviously prudent one, considering the increasingly-bleak realities of Washington’s future now that Wall will be sidelined until 2020.
Wall undoubtedly understands why the team felt the need to make moves at the trade deadline. Still, that doesn’t mean it was any easier on him to watch Morris and Porter pack their bags.
“It’s tough to always see any teammate leave,” Wall said, per Michael Marzzacco of The Sports Daily. Especially me and Keef, we built a dope, dope bond, started Death Row D.C., so it’s sad to see him go. Wish him the best and I know he’s going through some figuring out what he’s dealing with his injury, hope he gets healthy.
“Otto, just wish the best,” he continued. “He played in Georgetown and then coming and getting drafted number three, having a great year, doing what he had to do and just trying to figure out playing through his nicks and bruises.”
Wall, 28, signed a four-year, $170 million contract extension with the Wizards in 2017 that doesn’t kick in until next season, which he’s primed to miss while rehabbing. Even once he’s cleared to play, though, there’s hardly any guarantee that Wall will possess the breakneck speed and explosive athleticism that remains the driving force behind his success.
Washington, like Wall, didn’t want to trade Morris and Porter. Owner Ted Leonsis said just last month that his team “will never, ever tank.” But unfortunately for the Wizards,Wall’s major setback toward returning to the floor forced their hand into the first stages of rebuilding, a development that’s actually in the best long-term interest of the franchise.