John Wall hasn’t played in the NBA in a very long time. Injury after injury has cost the former All-Star a lot of missed time: not too long ago the Wizards were supposed to be an improving young team. Currently, John Wall is getting ready for the new season, with his max contract still on the Wizards’ books. Perhaps they decide to trade him and rebuild a team around Bradley Beal.
Despite his massive contract, John Wall has value to teams that would like some form of perimeter creation. Wall has always had the vision for passing, so assuming that he could translate into a supporting role seems straightforward. With his playmaking ability, even if Wall loses a step with the injuries, he can still make an impact and perhaps be a fringe All-Star. As such, teams could take the risk on a point guard once considered the best in the East. Here are the best trades for John Wall.
5. New York Knicks
New York Knicks Receive: John Wall
Washington Wizards Receive: Julius Randle, Frank Ntilikina, Elfrid Payton
The New York Knicks have been linked to stars that other contenders want to trade, such as Russell Westbrook and Gordon Hayward. While they have already struck out on some, the free agency period is still open, and there is always the possibility of the next blockbuster trade. John Wall could be the point guard that the Knicks target, in the hopes that his rehabilitation went well and he’s ready to tear up the league.
The trade itself would give the Wizards two young players at the guard position: Elfrid Payton is known to stuff the stat sheet with assists, while Ntilikina is a lockdown defender. Julius Randle would be sent out to match salaries and could be a temporary fit at the PF position off the bench. Randle could transition to being an effective sixth man whose only focus is bench scoring. This deal could work out well for both sides, giving the Knicks a potential star while injecting youth into the Wizards rotation.
4. Los Angeles Clippers
Los Angeles Clippers Receive: John Wall
Washington Wizards Receive: Patrick Beverley, Lou Williams, Ivica Zubac, Mfiondu Kabengele, and a mid-level contract
The Clippers have been in dire need of playmaking since the day their roster was constructed. A deal could be struck between the Clippers and the Wizards: the Wizards could send away John Wall, allowing him to be on a contending roster while receiving a decent return for a former All-Star. John Wall could push the Clippers to the next level, while his departure would allow other Wizards’ players to get more touches and develop.
The Clippers would give up two good role players in return for Wall: Lou Williams is excellent on offense, while Patrick Beverley is good on defense. They complement each other well and have had ample experience playing with each other. On top of that, they would send away Ivica Zubac and Mfiondu Kabengele, two players with some amount of potential. This trade would allow the Wizards to get rid of Wall’s contract while giving them flexibility for the future.
3. New Orleans Pelicans
New Orleans Pelicans Receive: John Wall
Washington Wizards Receive: Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart, JJ Redick, Nickeil Alexander-Walker
Everyone knows that the best way to win a championship is to have a great team full of star talent. The Pelicans look like they could be that budding superteam: however, their stars are still young and inexperienced: they need someone who has been to the playoffs and has some respect around the league. Someone who could be a leader in the locker room. John Wall is the perfect candidate for that role.
The package that the Pelicans would send away involves a promising young point guard in Lonzo Ball, two shooters in Josh Hart and JJ Redick, and a solid player in Nickeil Alexander-Walker. This package gives the Wizards the chance to compete now while having players for the future, on top of getting them out of Wall’s contract. This trade would give Bradley Beal better spacing and depth while freeing up minutes for the development of Lonzo Ball and Rui Hachimura.
2. Chicago Bulls
Chicago Bulls Receive: John Wall
Washington Wizards Receive: Lauri Markkanen, Tomas Satoransky, Thaddeus Young, Cristiano Felicio
The Chicago Bulls drafted Patrick Williams with their draft pick, fulfilling their need at the wing position. However, their point guard position is still questionable. Coby White could turn into something, but he’s still raw. Perhaps the Bulls need a veteran at the PG position, someone who can keep the ship steady while Coby White develops, or until the Bulls draft their next legendary guard.
The Wizards would get a package of a good young player and salary filler: Markkanen is a great stretch 4 with massive potential, while Thaddeus Young and Tomas Satoransky are defense-oriented, team-first veterans. Cristiano Felicio is in there to match John Wall’s contract. This trade would let the Wizards get more depth and put two good defensive players around Bradley Beal.
1. Houston Rockets
Houston Rockets Receive: John Wall
Washington Wizards Receive: Russell Westbrook
The pressure is on the Wizards to compete right here, right now. Bradley Beal is only getting older, and perhaps a point guard coming off a myriad of serious injuries isn’t worth it. The Houston Rockets are also shopping their point guard in Russell Westbrook. Westbrook is someone who can be a creator on the offensive end and is proven in the regular season. Westbrook had a bad playoff run, but part of that is due to the bubble and coming off a quad injury.
For the Rockets, it’s simple. There are rumors that Russell Westbrook wants to get traded anyway, and preferably to somewhere with a lot of touches to be had. The Wizards could be that place. The Rockets could try to accommodate the former MVP, while also getting the possibility of a star themselves. If Wall plays up to his contract, then the Rockets could use Wall in a trade later down the line. There’s no reason to keep a disgruntled star, so the Rockets could very well trade Westbrook for Wall.