John Wall isn’t looking past this season when the Washington Wizards, along with just about every team in the NBA, will try to pursue superstar Kevin Durant in free agency.
“I know what our goal is, to try to go after Kevin, which is not a bad situation. But my ultimate goal is this year. I ain’t trying to waste a season,” Wall told The Vertical. “I’m in my sixth year. Time don’t wait for nobody and I’ve dealt with it my first three years of not being in the playoffs. I know how it feels to have a longer summer, a longer vacation. I don’t want that. I want to be seen on TV. I know the city wants to see that. And as a point guard, you get known as being a winner in this league, not being a loser. And that’s something I never want to do. Since I’ve been in the playoffs, I want to finish my career making the playoffs every single year if I have the opportunity.”
The Wizards, 25-29 and in 10th place in the East, traded for Markieff Morris last week to help them make one last push for a playoff spot. It didn’t help that Washington lost 114-94 to the Miami Heat on Saturday, and Morris, playing in his second game for the Wizards since he was acquired from Phoenix, had just five points on 2-of-7 shooting.
Wall has done just about everything possible to keep the Wizards in contention. He leads the team in points (19.9), assists (9.8), steals (2.0) and minutes played (36.0). Wall has also managed to play and start every game this season despite dealing with injuries.
“I think the East is still open in my opinion,” Wall told The Vertical. “To be only a few games out of the eighth seed and how bad we played with all the injuries, you can’t ask for a better opportunity. We know what it takes. We know what we have at stake.”
The Wizards have 28 games left to sneak into the playoffs. They trail the Chicago Bulls by 3.5 games for the eighth seed. Forget about Durant possibly coming back home to Washington next season, Wall is entirely focused on this season.