The Washington Wizards are shopping All-Star guards John Wall and Bradley Beal, but trading the former is not going to be easy.
According to ESPN's Bobby Marks (h/t Tim Daniels of Bleacher Report), the trade market for the 28-year-old Wall is "close to nonexistent," since he'll be entering the first of a four-year $169.3 million extension in 2019-20.
That is what one unnamed NBA executive told Marks, who said Wall's deal "right now is the toughest contract I have seen a team try to move in 20 years." This is despite Wall being one of the game's top point guards and still in his prime at age 28.
However, few competitive teams would be able to afford Wall's contract, and most of them have a quality point guard anyway. It doesn't make sense for a rebuilding team/bottom feeder to take on such a mammoth contract, when the goal is to save cap space and make other big moves down the road.
What also hurts Wall's trade value is the fact he's been battling knee injuries over the past year. Once regarded as the fastest point guard in the NBA, observers have noticed that Wall has lost some speed - which is instrumental in his game.
Wall is averaging 21.5 points, 8.1 assists and 3.6 rebounds per game. He's been named to five All-Star Games and was selected to the All-NBA Third Team in 2017. The first overall pick from 2010 turned 28 in September.
What This Means
ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski originally reported that the struggling Wizards were listening to offers on all their players, including Wall and Beal. He noted that the latter was more desirable in a trade, since he's three years younger than Wall and carries a cheaper contract.
It's going to be extremely diffcult for the Wizards to find a taker for Wall. If they're desperate to move him, the only solution may be to take back another bad contract or two. Washington could also throw in draft picks as a sweetener in the deal.
But for now, the Wizards need to focus on trying to turn this season around before the drama grows even more in DC.