Despite the team’s plan to run it back again in the 2020-21 NBA season, All-Star point guard John Wall doesn’t seem to be interested in staying with the Washington Wizards for another year. In a recent Twitter post, Shams Charania of The Athletic revealed that Wall has made it clear to the Wizards that he wants to be traded out of Washington. Finding a team that is willing to absorb an injured star and his massive contract would be difficult, but it’s not entirely impossible, especially if the Wizards are willing to sacrifice future draft picks in the process.
In a recent article, Grant Hughes of Bleacher Report named some teams that are desperate enough to consider trading for the All-Star point guard this offseason, including the New York Knicks. In the proposed trade scenario by Hughes, the Knicks would send a package that includes Frank Ntilikina, Julius Randle, and Kevin Knox II to Washington in exchange for Wall.
Trading for the All-Star point guard would undeniably be a risky move for the Knicks. He’s not only coming off an Achilles injury, but he’s also owed $132.8 million over the next three seasons, which could likely affect their salary cap flexibility in the summer of 2021 when several big names are expected to be available on the free agency market. However, if he could manage to return to perfect shape and regain his All-Star status, his arrival in New York would enable them to add a legitimate superstar to the roster.
Wall, alone, may not be enough to make the Knicks an instant title contender in the Eastern Conference, but Hughes believes that bringing a player of his caliber to New York would help them bring back excitement and energy to Madison Square Garden.
“If Wall still has any of his old burst, he could inject some excitement into a team that needs it. Toppin is a strong finisher, and his transition skills would complement Wall’s open-floor speed well. Again, that’s assuming Wall still has some juice. Normally, you could argue that Wall would electrify Madison Square Garden. That he’d give Knicks fans someone to cheer for. But without fans in the stands, a good portion of Wall’s potential appeal to New York disappears.”
Meanwhile, the suggested trade would also be beneficial for the Wizards. Aside from successfully getting rid of Wall’s massive contract, it would enable them to acquire a floor-spacing big man in Randle and two young and promising talents in Ntilikina and Knox II. Ntilikina and Knox II may have turned into huge disappointments in New York, but being given the opportunity to start a new journey with another team could help them start living up to expectations from lottery selections.