The Washington Wizards haven’t done themselves any favors as they openly gauge the interest for John Wall on the trade market, and now Wall reportedly has made it clear to the franchise that he wants out. The hobbled star guard hasn’t seen much playing time in recent years given his ailing injuries, which has left Bradley Beal tasked with moving the Wizards squad up the ranks in the Eastern Conference.
With the Wizards’ front office getting involved in trade talks with other clubs—namely the Houston Rockets centered around Russell Westbrook—they’ve made it known to Wall that his time in D.C. may be coming to an end soon. Disgruntled and unappreciated stars usually don’t stick around the scene too long after it’s made known that their talents are no longer required.
The Wizards should be willing to give Wall the first half of the season before deciding to move on from the five-time All-Star at the trade deadline, but that doesn’t seem to be the case anymore after spending a lucrative amount of money on the guard just to sit on the sidelines.
Here are three teams that should make the move for Wall in order to increase their chances of competing deep into the season.
3. New York Knicks
The Knicks haven’t made the most of their past endeavors in offseasons, and their reputation as a premier destination took a hit after both Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving sidestepped them for Brooklyn in 2019. With that being said, they should be doing everything in their power to land another star, even if it comes by a trade.
Wall isn’t the beast that he once was, but he still poses a legit threat for remotely any offense on any given night. Transitioning to the Knicks would make him the sole operator of their offense, something he hasn’t been able to do since the emergence of Beal. Also, free agents would be more apt to at least field calls from the Knicks and give them a significant amount of consideration compared to what they’ve done in the past.
The Knicks currently have RJ Barrett to consider, who’ll become the face of their franchise in due time as he continues to develop his game. Wall could be a huge upside for Barrett, giving him some legitimate talent to share the floor with as well as learn from.
2. Miami Heat
The Heat are still currently assessing the market and deciding which route would prove best for them in the long haul. They’ve been vigilant in holding on to most of their cap space in hopes of landing Giannis Antetokounmpo in the 2021 offseason when he becomes a free agent. Miami could become an even more enticing destination for the reigning MVP with a backcourt that boasts John Wall and Jimmy Butler.
The Heat were a few pieces short of making it happen against the Los Angeles Lakers last season in the NBA Finals, and Wall could definitely bring in another dimension to a squad that primarily focuses its offense on 3-point shooting. Wall is a terrific finisher in the paint, which is a skillset the Heat lacked this season outside of Bam Adebayo and Butler.
Miami does still have to make a decision on whether they’ll retain Goran Dragic this offseason or not, but if Wall becomes more available, they could look into a sign-and-trade scenario that delivers him to South Beach.
1. Los Angeles Clippers
After watching their crosstown rivals in the Los Angeles Lakers grab up their point guard for the foreseeable future, the Clippers now enter a dangerous state where they must do the same. They’ve been in the mix for a few ball-handlers such as Rajon Rondo, but none that can make quite the impact that Wall can.
While he hasn’t played in nearly two years, emerging videos of the Kentucky standout shows that he’s returned to old form, while also possibly adding a trick or two to his repertoire. His last active season in 2018-19 saw him put up 20.7 points per contest while dishing out 8.7 assists, which are as good of All-Star numbers that you’d want from a guard.
His fit with Kawhi Leonard and Paul George could return reaping benefits. John Wall possesses a deadly arsenal that would definitely draw in defenses, allowing him to capitalize off screens and cuts to the baskets for either George or Leonard. He shot 44.4 percent from the field during his last season while connecting on 30 percent of his 3-pointers, and that’s a category that’d have to be worked on in order to be more effective in the Clippers’ offense. Even so, Wall’s overall game more than addresses some of the Clippers’ needs.