2019 Media Day roundup: Eastern Conference

NBA.com Global on Oct 01, 2019 06:16 AM
2019 Media Day roundup: Eastern Conference
Photo c/o @sixers

NBA.com staff report

The NBA preseason officially begins today and the start of the 2019-20 NBA regular season is a little more than three weeks away. But before we get into all of that, it's media day for 23 teams across the NBA!

As such, we're keeping tabs of all the moments, photos and more from Eastern teams in case you miss something.

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Brooks: Wizards won't rush Wall back

Late last season, John Wall wasn't sure if he would be able to suit up for the 2019-20 season. As the Washington Wizards opened media day on Monday (Tuesday, PHL time), coach Scott Brooks made it clear the team is not looking to speed up the timeline for its All-Star guard to return.

"There's a good chance he misses  most of the season -- if not all the season," Brook said, per Fred Katz of The Athletic. "We're gonna be patient. ... He's not gonna play until he’s ready 100 percent, and he understands that, but what I love about John is he’s gonna fight us over it.”

Wall, for his part, isn't about to race back to the lineup unnecessarily, either. "I'm in no rush (to come back)," Wall said, via Katz. "Only me can know how my body feels.

"It's tough to just sit and watch, but my job is to make sure I'm fully healthy and not compensating for anything when I do come back."

Wall's absence leaves much of the Wizards' starting lineup in flux. All-Star guard Bradley Beal and big man Thomas Bryant are the only sure-fire starters for Washington once 2019-20 opens, per Brooks.

Fultz hopes to play in preseason opener

Shoulder injuries have kept Markelle Fultz, the former No. 1 overall pick of the 2017 Draft, from steady playing time in the NBA. He's been limited to 33 games in his two seasons and, last season, was dealt by the Philadelphia 76ers to the Orlando Magic at the trade deadline.

Fultz has put in a lot of work to recover from that injury and has his eyes on playing his first game with the Magic come this weekend. When asked at the team's media day if his goal was to play in the preseason opener on Saturday (Sunday, PHL time) vs. the San Antonio Spurs, Fultz confirmed that was the case.

His shoulder problems - first called a scapular muscle imbalance, a fancy way of saying the joints in the shoulder weren't working together properly - took him out of the lineup for the first time after just four games of his rookie season with Philadelphia. He missed 68 games that year before returning for the final few weeks.

Fultz started Philadelphia's first 15 games last season before things went bad again. He double-clutched a free throw in a game at Miami and was widely mocked on social media afterward. Before long, he was diagnosed with a new problem - neurogenic thoracic outlet syndrome, a condition where blood vessels or nerves around the collarbone and first rib are compressed.

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