Wizards owner Ted Leonsis: ‘Why is everyone so positive – Kevin Durant has the same injury as John Wall and is older’

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Kevin Durant, now 31, is out with a torn Achilles. The Nets owe him $164,255,700 over the next four years.

John Wall, now 29, is out with a torn Achilles. The Wizards owe him $171,131,520 over the next four years.

Yet, Brooklyn is viewed to have a bright future in large part due to Durant. Washington is viewed to have a grim outlook in large part due to Wall.

Wizards owner Ted Leonsis called out the dichotomy.

Leonsis on The Habershow:

Why is everyone so positive – Kevin Durant has the same injury as John Wall and is older.

Nobody should be positive about either player after their devastating injuries. There was real risk giving Durant a max contract this summer.

But there’s more optimism around Durant than Wall for two main reasons:

1. Durant was better than Wall before getting hurt. Wall showed major signs of decline before getting sidelined last season. Perhaps, that was health-related. But his lackluster production can’t just be swept under the rug. Even if Wall’s slippage were totally health-related, his pre-injury form was well below Durant’s. When Durant went down, he could make a case as the NBA’s very best player. The reasonable expectation should be both players declining from their pre-injury forms, but Durant is declining from a far higher peak.

2. Durant is an elite shooter – a skill that should be less adversely affected by his injury. Wall relies far more on burst and explosion, traits that could be significantly compromised. Loss of athleticism would hinder both players. Given their styles of play, it’d like hurt Wall more.