John Wall Trade Not in Wizards' Plans amid Rumors of Request, Says GM Sheppard

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistNovember 23, 2020

Washington Wizards John Wall looks on in the second half during an NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz Friday, Feb. 28, 2020, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
Rick Bowmer/Associated Press

The Wizards have no plans to trade John Wall, despite the five-time All-Star reportedly requesting to be moved from Washington. 

"There's no plans to trade John. ... It's a new story with John and [Bradley Beal]. It's not a sequel," Wizards general manager Tommy Sheppard told reporters Monday.

Sheppard also denied reports Wall requested a trade, saying, "There's no issue with John and I, with John and the Wizards." 

Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium reported Wall requested a trade amid rumors the Wizards discussed a deal that would have sent him to Houston for Russell Westbrook. Those talks never appeared to gain much traction.

Wall missed the entire 2019-20 season while recovering from a ruptured Achilles. He was limited to 32 games in the 2018-19 season and has made only 73 appearances total over the last three campaigns.

The Wizards are on the hook for $132.9 million for Wall over the next three seasons, giving him perhaps the most untradeable contract in the sport. Washington is moving forward with Wall and Bradley Beal in part because they are talented but also because they have little choice. Beal and James Harden are among the NBA's most coveted trade chips, but Sheppard has been steadfast in his desire to keep the All-Star guard.

Wall's long-term trade value may benefit from a bounce-back season in 2020-21. A year ago, it appeared as though Chris Paul had the league's worst contract. One return to All-Star form later, the Oklahoma City Thunder were able to flip him to the Phoenix Suns for a package including Ricky Rubio, Kelly Oubre Jr. and a protected first-round pick.

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The Wizards would be more likely to retain Wall long term than trade him if he returns to form, but their path to contention remains fraught in an increasingly tough Eastern Conference.