Author: Kurt Helin

Washington Wizards v Atlanta Hawks - Game One

Report: John Wall clashed with Wizards medical staff over initial wrist diagnosis


John Wall knew it was bad — he had broken his wrist on his left hand back in high school, so when he fell on it during Game 1 against the Hawks, he knew it was serious. From the Washington Post.

“I knew when I fell on it,” Wall said earlier this week. “You never know when you’ve got a lot of energy and power going down on the ground, so I thought I broke it. Kind of the same type of injury.”

Wall gutted out the rest of Game 1 and helped the Wizards earn an upset victory on the road. After that game X-rays came back negative and it was announced he had a sprain — but Wall wasn’t buying it. He knew it was something worse. That led to clashes with the Wizards medical staff, reports Michael Lee at the Post.

Wall refused to accept the initial diagnosis of a “real, real bad sprain” after X-rays immediately following the game were negative. According to a person with knowledge of the situation, Wall clashed with team medical staffers before sitting out Tuesday because he felt something more serious had caused his hand to explode. After a few days of confusion and concern, Wall got the confirmation of bone fractures that he never really wanted, leaving fans of the team with broken hearts.

Wizards coach Randy Whittman has since called this report a “flat out lie.”

Wall has been the second best player in the Eastern Conference playoffs this season. He’s also the focal point of the Wizards’ offense, and their best perimeter defender — this team is not close to the same without him. This is not the Clippers, who had another Top 10 NBA player to turn their offense over to; the Wizards are a much lesser team when Wall cannot play. And it’s hard to imagine him playing — a non-displaced fracture in his shooting hand kept Kawhi Leonard out more than three weeks this season.

And it’s hard to imagine him playing — a non-displaced fracture in his shooting hand kept Kawhi Leonard out more than three weeks this season. While this situation is different — this is Wall’s non-shooting hand — to play (even in a splint or support of some kind) is to risk a worsened injury that could be an issue for a year or more. It’s a risk-vs.-reward discussion, but with the guy you’re team is built around for the next several years you can only take on so much risk.

Thunder GM Presti reiterates he plans to re-sign Enes Kanter

Oklahoma City Thunder v Utah Jazz

Oklahoma City liked what they saw from Enes Kanter this season.

Well, at least on the offensive end. The Thunder have wanted more scoring out of the center spot for a while (Kendrick Perkins was not that guy) and Kanter averaged 18.7 points and 11 rebounds a game after he was traded to OKC. He had an All-Star level PER of 24.9 after the trade. He was also his usual revolving door self on defense, something that Serge Ibaka helped mask, at least until Ibaka went down injured.

Speaking with Darnell Mayberry of the Oklahoman about the future, Thunder GM Sam Presti left no doubt that the team planned to re-sign the restricted free agent Kanter this summer and keep him in blue and white.

Enes is someone we are committed to seeing in a Thunder uniform moving forward.

Other teams can make offers to Kanter, he can sign them, but it sounds as if the Thunder would just match.

The Thunder paid the tax for the first time this season and keeping Kanter (along with potentially re-signing Kyle Singler) would ensure paying it again next season.

However, with the salary cap about to spike thanks to the influx of television money, the Thunder can pay Kanter and others, re-sign Durant next summer (if they can) and still not be taxpayers. They have a lot of flexibility that way.

Paul Pierce sounds like a guy who plans to stay a Wizard this summmer

Washington Wizards v Atlanta Hawks - Game Two

If he wants to, Paul Pierce can become a free agent this summer.

He has a player option on his contract. Opt in and he makes $5.5 million to stay in Washington, opt out and he can test the market for a forward who turns 38 next season but is still productive (11.9 points per game this season) and provides a level of leadership many contending teams covet.

He will not say what he plans to do this summer while the Wizards are still alive in the playoffs (something that could end sooner rather than later after the news about John Wall’s hand). But speaking to, he sounds like a guy who wants to stay in the nation’s capital one way or another.

“It’s been nothing but love from the time I got off the airplane in the summer,” Pierce told Comcast SportsNet’s Chris Miller about his time with the Wizards….

“I feel like even if it’s one year, two years, or three years I’m here, I feel like I’m going to have a relationship with these guys for a long, long time even after basketball,” Pierce said. “It seems like we connect, and I connected with the city.”

Nothing is ever for sure. With his age and accomplishments, what Pierce is playing for now is rings and he may survey the land and decide he is closer to that goal somewhere else right now. There isn’t a contender that wouldn’t welcome him in some role.

But he sure sounds like a guy who plans to stay put.