Washington Wizards' John Wall Returns To Practice, But Is He Ready To Be Washington's Leader?

January 1, 2013; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Wizards point injured guard John Wall participates in a workout prior to the Wizards

With a 4-26 record, the worst mark in the league, things can only improve for the Washington Wizards.

A big boost would come from the return of team’s young point guard, John Wall. Wall, who was the number one overall pick in the 2010 draft, has been out since late September with a left knee injury.

According to a report from Jeremy Hyman of WashingtonWizards.com, Wall’s return is drawing closer.

Hyman reported from Wizards’ practice on Thursday that,

“This was the first time all season in which all 15 players took part in some form of the practice. John Wall and Trevor Ariza moved from non-contact into some contact drills.”

He also said about Wall,

“it seemed like he was looking like his usual self. His teammates and coaches were enthused and encouraged from what they saw and from an emotional standpoint they all said that Wall gave everybody a lift.”

There is still no definite timetable for Wall’s return, but now that he has returned to practice, it should be sometime in the next few weeks.

While the third year man has been solid in his two pro seasons, he hasn’t quite lived up to the lofty expectations set for him coming out of the University of Kentucky.

He has struggled to be the leader of an often-dysfunctional roster, and makes too many mistakes with the ball, averaging almost 4 turnovers a game for his career.

The Wizards still hope that Wall will be the foundation of their franchise for years to come, but some people aren’t sure that he is good enough to build a team around.

One of those people is former Orlando Magic coach Stan Van Gundy, who, when asked about Wall on ESPN 980 in Washington D.C. had this to say,

“I know they’ll be better when John Wall comes back. He’s certainly got talent, but I don’t know that even John Wall is a great player to build your franchise around. I don’t think John Wall’s good enough to be the guy that you build around.”

Unfortunately for Wizards fans, Van Gundy is correct in his assessment of Wall.

The young point guard just has not shown enough in his first two seasons that he is worth building a team around. He is still growing as a player, and maybe he will prove everyone wrong, but I don’t see it.

Wall is talented, and can be a top point guard for many years to come, maybe even making a few all-star appearances. But he is not, at least for the time being, a cornerstone for a franchise that is in desperate need of a lift.

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