NBA trade rumors have been following Los Angeles Lakers point guard D’Angelo Russell and Washington Wizards point guard John Wall for months. Wall’s inclusion in the rumor mill began after he was quoted in a CSN Mid-Atlantic interview as saying that he and Wizards shooting guard Bradley Beal have a “tendency to dislike each other on the court.” Once this information was out in the open, NBA trade rumors began to pop up that included either Wall or Beal changing zip codes.
D’Angelo Russell and his feud with teammate Nick “Swaggy P” Young became public knowledge after a video surfaced in which Young admitted to cheating on his then-fiancee, rapper Iggy Azalea. It turned out that D’Angelo Russell recorded the video, and there have been strong suspicions ever since that Russell himself allowed the video clip to go public and subsequently cause harm to both Young and Azalea (per the Huffington Post). Much like the toxic situation that developed in Washington, the problems between Young and Russell caused an avalanche of NBA trade rumors to hit the web that had one of the Lakers’ guards switching teams.
Picture: Hey let's get it done #johnwall#lakers#lakersnation#nba#dunk#realtalk#kobe#mambaout#championship#nbaplayof… pic.twitter.com/MwA3MLTYBk
— Frank Quaid (@frankquaid2) May 18, 2016
The latest from the rumor mill suggests a scenario that combines both of the aforementioned situations — the rumored proposal is a four-player swap that would send John Wall to the Lakers for a package of three players: D’Angelo Russell, power forward Julius Randle and point guard Jose Calderon. The rumored deal would be legal under NBA trade and salary cap guidelines (as verified by the ESPN NBA Trade Machine), so this trade could happen, at least in theory.
John Wall is one of the best point guards in the NBA, having been the top overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft and a three-time NBA All-Star. If this trade takes place, however, it does have some downside for Los Angeles.
The subtraction of Julius Randle from the roster would leave the starting power forward spot to Larry Nance, Jr. Nance is coming along nicely according to sources close to the team, but he doesn’t appear ready to take on a starting role. Thomas Robinson is the other power forward on the Lakers’ roster, and he has been a huge disappointment since coming into the NBA as a high draft choice in 2012.
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The point guard position would be weakened a bit in terms of depth, as Marcelo Huertas would be the lone remaining pure lead guard if this trade goes through. The good news for Los Angeles is that Huertas has been drawing praise from head coach Luke Walton, so he seems capable of backing up John Wall. Jordan Clarkson can also play point guard if needed, so in the final analysis, this position should be well-covered in the event of a trade for John Wall.
Overall, this deal would make the Los Angeles Lakers a better team and because they currently lack a superstar player, obtaining John Wall would make a lot of sense. The deal would cost plenty and cause some issues at the power forward position, but John Wall would be worth the price.
D’Angelo Russell has NBA All-Star potential, but he is not the player John Wall is, and he might not ever be on Wall’s level. If this trade happens, the Wizards would still have a nice point guard rotation (Russell, Trey Burke, and Jose Calderon), but they would lack the punch that Wall provided. Julius Randle is another young player who has terrific potential, but he isn’t a dominant player at this stage. Consequently, this trade would only garner interest from Washington if the team feels they are not a contender, and they want to build for the future.
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The Wizards just gave Bradley Beal a massive $128 million contract, and even spent big money on Pacers free agent Ian Mahinmi, a backup center. The team appears to have every intention of trying to challenge in the Eastern Conference, so even though this hypothetical deal would give them two valuable young assets in D’Angelo Russell and Julius Randle, Washington would say ‘no’ to this offer because it would set them back in the short-term, and there is no guarantee that Russell or Randle are going to reach All-Star status in the coming years.
Current NBA trade rumors hint at a significant deal between the Los Angeles Lakers and Washington Wizards. John Wall would not come cheap for the Lakers, but they would probably take this opportunity if the offer was on the table. The Wizards think they can win right now, so it is doubtful that they would go for this proposal since it has a great deal of potential in the long-term, but it would not make them a better team this season.
[Featured Image by Jae C. Hong/AP Images]