Updated landing pads for Washington Wizards Guard John Wall | Grandstand report

Washington Wizards guardian John Wall drives past Bruce Brown (6), guardian of the Detroit Pistons, in the second half of an NBA basketball game on Wednesday, December 26, 2018 in Detroit.  The pistons defeated the wizards 106-95.  (AP Photo / Duane Burleson)

Duane Burleson / Associated Press

We’re going to find out if an NBA contract is really not tradable.

John Wall, the guardian of the Washington Wizards, who owed around $ 133 million over the next three seasons and was excluded from the game for almost two full calendar years, wants to get out.

The now public request came amid discussions between Washington and the Houston Rockets, proving that at least one team responded to a possible Wall deal with something other than fits of laughter and a quick hang up. The talks were interrupted, but at least there were talks. That is something.

However, it is significant that the contract offered, Russell WestbrookIt’s as hideously onerous as Wall’s on the very short list of deals. The wizards and missiles essentially discussed the possibility of exchanging expensive problems.

Here we have to look for plausible landing spots: with teams that have similar ugly deals in their own books. From there we can potentially add organizations that are desperate to make a splash.

New York Knicks

Jason DeCrow / Associated Press

The New York Knicks didn’t close their void at the time of design and instead opted for the local product Obi Toppin with the number 8. If they don’t land Fred VanVleet in the free agency, the prospect of kicking off the season with Frank Ntilikina and Dennis Smith Jr. as the only point guards on the roster would trigger a hasty decision.

Throw Ntilikina, Julius Randle, and Kevin Knox II in a package and the Knicks that have room right now could take Wall’s money back with no problem. The only question then would be how much draft capital Washington would have to pull in to close the deal.

A pair of picks for the first round, maybe 2021 and 2023, might be enough.

If Wall is still having one of his old breakouts, he might add some excitement to a team in need. Toppin is a strong finisher, and his transition skills would complement Wall’s open-floor speed well. That again assumes that Wall still has some juice.

Ordinarily, one could argue that Wall would electrify Madison Square Garden. That he would give Knicks fans someone to cheer on. But without fans in the stands, much of Wall’s potential appeal to New York disappears.

Orlando Magic

Alex Brandon / Associated Press

Wall wouldn’t help the Orlando Magic off the mediocre treadmill, but maybe he could at least make jogging more interesting.

Orlando’s offense was unremarkable and has been in the bottom third of the league in points per 100 possessions for the past four seasons. Not only could Wall make a big name for magic at the marquee, but it could also score a hit.

The point guard’s assist percentage has been at or above the 92nd percentile at his position every year since 2012-13, allowing Orlando to get the ball movement and relief he lacked. And since Nikola Vucevic offers a decent stretch on 5, Wall’s unreliable jumper wouldn’t restrict the distance too much.

Given that The Magic has just spent a year with Markelle Fultz and his even less trustworthy shot has run the show, Wall’s lack of shooting doesn’t seem like that big a deal.

Fultz and Aaron Gordon could be the main pieces of a trading package, though Orlando would need to find a few more dollars for the money to work. And, as with Knicks’ hypothesis, this would likely be due to the amount of draft compensation that Magic would ask to take in Wall’s money.

Washington sent Gilbert Arenas to magic a decade ago. Maybe Orlando itches after a second shot at an injured and disgruntled Wizards point guard.

Houston Rockets

I’ll be honest: I don’t see Wall making any more sense in Houston than Westbrook. But the two have basically identical contracts and neither wants to be in their current team. A wall-for-russ exchange makes too much sense and makes no sense at all.

Not that Westbrook has the cleanest health record, but given Wall’s injury history, the Rockets could actually get back some of the draft picks they’ve made in recent trades. Mauer and a sheltered premiere for Westbrook feels about right.

Many of the same problems that brought Westbrook to the Rockets would accompany Wall. Nevertheless, Wall shot 37.1 percent from the depths in his last half-healthy year 2017/18. It’s at 32.4 percent for his career, which looks awfully good compared to Westbrook, who couldn’t break 30.0 percent in three in any of his last three seasons.

Wall was always better than Russ defensively. Even if the Achilles tear disrupts much of the 30-year-old’s quickness, the story suggests that Wall will at least endeavor to protect his husband and watch out for the scheme, none of which Westbrook can consistently say.

When James Harden leaves first it suddenly becomes easier to build a decent wall-led team around whatever Houston gets for him. Squint and you may see something interesting when Wall leads an overhauled missile squad.

Perhaps after conquering the league, both the missiles and the wizards will find that they have no better options. That’s a dreary thought, but a dreary job to try to trade a pair of non-shooting, over 30-year-old, athletic point guards who are making incredibly large deals.

Statistics courtesy of, Basketball Reference and Cleaning the Glass. Salary information about basketball insiders.


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