After a rough start to the season, the Washington Wizards appear to be headed towards the rebuilding process. Washington has started the season with an underachieving 5-11 record. With the team losing consecutive games at home, the disappointment doesn't seem to be coming to an end any time soon.
On Monday morning, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Wizards organization is giving the rest of the NBA the impression that every player on their roster is available in trade talks.
As the Washington Wizards' season spirals, the franchise has started to deliver teams an impression that every player on their roster — including All-Star guards John Wall and Bradley Beal — is available for discussion in trade scenarios, league sources told ESPN.
The main topic of discussion surrounding a potential rebuild for the Wizards is John Wall. The easiest of their star players to move is Bradley Beal because of his favorable contract and cohesive play style. Otto Porter is paid a significant amount but talented wings are not easy to find.
Wall signed a $207 million extension during the summer of 2017 that will last through the 2022-23 season. With his age (28), history of injuries, the consistent locker room problems under his leadership, and a 15 percent trade kicker, it could be challenging for the Wizards to land a quality return.
Here are five potential trade destinations for John Wall:
5. Detroit Pistons
It wasn't long ago since the Detroit Pistons faced backlash for acquiring Blake Griffin and it sounds very similar to the concerns surrounding John Wall. Both players have a concerning injury history and have long-term deals that will be paying them until they are 32-years-old.
It's important to note the Pistons are already dealing with an injury-plagued point guard in Reggie Jackson. He has badly struggled with his offensive efficiency and overall defensive impact and acquiring Wall would be an upgrade.
Another factor to consider is that Detroit currently has a healthy chance of making the playoffs this season. It would only help their chances by acquiring Wall by improving their team and making the Washington Wizards worse.
As the landscape of the Pistons' franchise currently stands, it is difficult to see a path to legitimate success. It's important they capitalize on acquiring star talent when they can to at least give them their best chance of winning as many games as possible.
4. Miami Heat
It seems like the Miami Heat is always trying to add talent to their roster as opposed to undergoing a rebuild. If they are still set on trying to trade for a star player, it makes sense for them to pursue John Wall after missing out on Jimmy Butler.
The time is coming for the Heat to replace Goran Dragic. He is going to be turning 33-years-old later this year and is set to hit free agency this summer. Bringing him back with their current salary cap landscape would be continuing the status quo.
With Wall only earning around $19.2 million for this season, now would be the ideal time for the Heat to pull off a trade for salary purposes. Their salary cap situation would be terrible for the next few years but this is basically their best bet to landing a star.
It's difficult to necessarily plane out a successful retooling process for the Heat based on their current landscape. They have a lot of bad contracts and there is at least a decent chance that they could miss the playoffs.
3. New Orleans Pelicans
There may come a time when the New Orleans Pelicans regret not surrounding Anthony Davis with enough talent if they don't do it soon. Since the windows of opportunity to acquire a star player are unpredictable, trying to acquire John Wall makes sense.
The current point guard situation the Pelicans are facing is concerning. Elfrid Payton has only played in six games so far this season and is set to miss the next six weeks as a result of hand surgery. In addition, their lack of depth at this position is concerning.
The battle for playoff seeds in the Western Conference is going to be intense. As of right now, there are about 14 teams that could reasonably contend for one of those eight spots. With the Pelicans currently sitting eighth in the West with a 9-7 record, an upgrade to their point guard position would only help.
Davis has not played with as dynamic of a playmaker as Wall so far in his career and that could help him to further elevate his game. Jrue Holiday and Nikola Mirotic are both key players that would benefit from playing alongside an impactful playmaker as well.
2. Orlando Magic
The current state of the Eastern Conference is weak when looking beyond the projected top five spots. For a team that hasn't made the playoffs since the 2011-12 season, now could be their time to bolster their roster. They have a 9-8 record and that is currently good for the 7th spot in the East standings.
They could use a dynamic playmaker to help simplify the game for the main veteran pieces. Doing so could help solidify Orlando as a playoff team. Of course, the specifics of that depends on who they would have left after a hypothetical trade.
Aaron Gordon, in particular, has a lot of potential as an off-ball threat that can't be utilized until they have better playmaking around him. In addition, Mo Bamba and Jonathan Isaac would benefit from playing with Wall too.
It simply comes down to a few factors for the Magic. When they do think their prospects are ready to compete, do they honestly believe that they can attract talent in free agency? Also, the point guard talent in the upcoming draft isn't strong either.
1. Phoenix Suns
While many talked about the Orlando Magic as having the worst point guard rotation in the NBA, it's easily the Phoenix Suns that own that title at this point. No team has any business of talking about making a playoff push in the Western Conference with Isaiah Canaan as their starting point guard.
When watching the Suns, it quickly becomes obvious that they lack a secondary perimeter player that can break down the defense and get into the paint. They have a legitimate need for a player like John Wall and acquiring him would make things a lot easier on Devin Booker.
In addition to making things easier on Booker, the Suns' young players like Deandre Ayton and Mikal Bridges are mostly off-ball threats. Having a guard like Wall could help to maximize their impact.
Having cap space isn't the only aspect of recruiting talent in free agency and the Suns may quickly learn that this summer. They are clearly the 15th team in the West until they bolster their roster and players likely won't find that appealing.