News and rumors about a trade for Washington Wizards guard John Wall have been dragging on for weeks now, but the All-Star point guard hasn’t been dealt yet. If they want to improve their chances in the playoffs, the Miami Heat should find a way to acquire Wall through a trade before someone else picks him up.
Incumbent starting point guard Goran Dragic is out with an injury, which is complicating the Heat’s chances at a postseason appearance. If the Heat were to trade for Wall, Dragic will most likely be included in trade discussions since they play the same position.
Other players could be added to the deal to spice up a potential trade between the Heat and Wizards, who are either seeking to get out of the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings or may want to trade Wall to start their rebuilding efforts.
Here are three potential trade packages from the Heat that could net them one of the league’s best point guards:
*Note: These trades were simulated via ESPN’s Trade Machine
3. Wizards receive: PG Goran Dragic, C Bam Adebayo
Heat receive: John Wall
This trade is almost a straight up deal for Wall except the Wizards will demand that the Heat include Bam Adebayo, who would be the primary backup to Dwight Howard in Washington.
This allows the Wizards to get rid of Wall’s massive contract while also giving them a center who can not only relieve Howard, but also replace him in the starting lineup whenever he is out with an injury. Though Dragic isn’t the same player he once was when he was balling with the Phoenix Suns a few years ago, he is a steady point guard who will run the team without the drama that Wall brings.
For the Heat, they get the All-Star point guard who likely needs the change of scenery to get back to playing without any distractions. The pressure of helping the Wizards advance deeper into the playoffs year after year may be taking its toll on him emotionally and psychologically. Though he will be tasked to lead Miami to greater playoff success eventually, he will have a clean slate compared to the expectations that come with being a perennial playoff contender.
2. Wizards receive: PG Goran Dragic, G-F Justise Winslow
Heat receive: PG John Wall, PF Marfieff Morris
Again, Dragic is the constant in this scenario but rather than Adebayo, the Wizards receive Justise Winslow whose potential is intriguing to scouts and general managers. Though Washington is giving up a lot in terms of talent, they will be receiving fewer headaches with Dragic and Winslow on board.
Winslow is currently the Heat’s starting point guard with Dragic out with an injury. For December, the swingman is averaging 13.7 points, 5.3 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.3 steals per contest. The kid has a bright future ahead and though last year’s promise hasn’t translated into a huge jump in his personal stats, the greater responsibility in Washington could trigger a serious “growth spurt” in terms of his floor game with a new team.
For the Heat, aside from the veteran point guard, they get a no-nonsense power forward who will toughen up the team’s interior defense. Markieff Morris should take over the starting spot ahead of James Johnson.
1. Wizards receive: PG Damian Lillard, SG Evan Turner
Heat receive: PG John Wall, C Dwight Howard, C Ian Mahinmi
Blazers receive: PG Goran Dragic, C Hassan Whiteside, 2019 Heat first-round pick, 2020 Wizards second-round pick
A three-way deal involving the Portland Trail Blazers is the kind of blockbuster trade that would make headlines as the teams try to change their fortunes with a trade that would alter their futures dramatically.
For the Wizards, Damian Lillard will be the new floor general who replaces Wall as they receive an All-Star point guard in return for their own. Lillard plays a vastly different game but one that will excite fans as much as Wall did. The 6-foot-3 guard will have a new backcourt mate who will complement his talents well with Bradley Beal. As good as Wall is, it will be quite interesting to see Lillard carry Washington on his back. He was unable to bring Portland close to a championship and that weighs heavy on a player’s shoulders.
Evan Turner will backup both Beal, Ariza and Otto Porter Jr.
With a mediocre 19-15 record, Portland’s brass may come to realize that their team has been stuck in the middle of the playoff race in the Western Conference for too long and may just blow it up soon with a trade. If they were to give up Lillard, they might as well trade him to the East rather than end up facing his wrath three to four times a year in the West.
They get Dragic, who will not be as good as their All-Star poin,t but will be a steady and reliable player nonetheless. In Hassan Whiteside, the Blazers hope to pair him with center Jusuf Nurkic who will have help manning the middle. Whiteside’s rebounding will strengthen their rebounding presence which is currently third in the league overall.
They can start a rebuild with the draft picks they will acquire from the Heat and the Wizards but it won’t be a complete rebuilding project. The Blazers still have C.J. McCollum and Nurkic to keep Portland away from the bottom of the standings.
As for the Heat, the addition of Wall plus Dwight Howard and, to a lesser extent, Ian Mahinmi should boost the team’s fortunes. The trade for Howard should also pave the way for Miami to find a suitable trade partner for Hassan Whiteside who, as talented as he is, is just not reliable enough for Coach Erik Spoelstra. Besides, their relationship is only going to get worse the more they spend time together. Spoelstra will be quite relieved to see the mercurial center no longer on the roster.
Howard can still play solid basketball as evidenced by his 32-point, 30-rebound game last season and his current averages of 12.8 points and 9.2 rebounds should only increase with more time on the court as he recovers from injury. Mahinmi will play behind Howard and provide quality minutes off the bench.