According to a new list of trade ideas, the Chicago Bulls could upgrade their lineup and accelerate their rebuild by acquiring point guard John Wall from the Washington Wizards.
According to Bleacher Report’s Greg Swartz, Wall could be a “realistic” target for the Bulls if they’re willing to pay a large amount of money to add a “premium” veteran talent to their youthful lineup. The writer predicted that Wall, who missed most of the last two seasons due to an Achilles injury, could potentially return to his old self in the 2020-21 season. Prior to getting sidelined, the 30-year-old averaged 20.7 points, 8.7 assists, and 1.5 steals per game for the Wizards.
In the proposed trade that would send Wall to Chicago, Swartz recommended sending two Bulls forwards — Otto Porter Jr. and Thaddeus Young — to the Wizards. He pointed out that the five-time All-Star could team up with guards Zach LaVine and Coby White and big men Lauri Markkanen and Wendell Carter, giving the Bulls a lineup that could “immediately” make the playoffs next year after a long drought.
If the deal becomes a reality, this would mark a homecoming of sorts for Porter, who was drafted third overall by Washington in 2013 after playing for the Georgetown Hoyas in college. Per Basketball-Reference, he averaged 11.9 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 1.8 assists for the Bulls in just 14 games as he dealt with his own injury woes in the 2019-20 campaign. Young, meanwhile, produced 10.3 points, 4.9 rebounds, 1.8 assists, and 1.4 steals per game as a part-time starter at power forward.
On the other hand, Swartz suggested that Porter and Young’s theoretical move to the Wizards would largely be a “salary dump,” given that the former is entering the final year of his contract — a $28.5 million player option. He added that both forwards might not stay too long in Washington, which is in the middle of its own rebuilding process, with both Wall and backcourt partner Bradley Beal frequently mentioned in trade rumors.
“Both he and Young could serve as rotation members for a season, and the Wizards would have the option to buy out the latter’s $14.2 million salary for just $6 million if they so choose in 2021-22,” the Bleacher Report writer continued.
While it might be intriguing to see Wall suit up for the Bulls and run the floor alongside the team’s young stars, most recent reports have linked him to the Houston Rockets. Last week, it was suggested that the Rockets could acquire the former No. 1 overall draft pick from the Wizards for a package centered on their own superstar point guard, Russell Westbrook.