Though Wizards GM Tommy Sheppard insists he isn’t trying to trade John Wall, the Pistons have reportedly come calling. The “exploratory calls” have introduced the idea of a swap: John Wall for Blake Griffin. Any trade for Wall, who’s set to make north of $40 million this year, is a huge deal. So “exploratory” talks are probably all these are.
Regardless, there’s a disconnect between Wall and management about whether these talks are even happening.
Wall claims he never demanded the trade that was reported last week. He’s likely telling the truth, but that doesn’t mean the Wizards want to keep him. In fact, they have plenty of reasons to move on from the five-time All-Star. John Wall hasn’t touched a court in two years due to injury. While he expects to make a full return this season, who knows what type of player he’ll be? The weakness in Wall’s game before his injury is the same weakness that has depleted the value of Russell Westbrook: He can’t shoot. Wall has shot just 32.4% from deep during his 10-year career.
Detroit clearly sees potential in John Wall, and if they can surround him with shooters, maybe he’s a fit? The Wizards had a similar thought when they drafted sharpshooter Bradley Beal to compensate for Wall’s shortcomings, but it didn’t work out for them.
Griffin will make over $36 million this year, and that’s a bad contract. Brutal. The Pistons just drafted point guard Killian Hayes out of Germany, so it’s possible they believe John Wall can help him develop. Either way, Blake Griffin is a bad fit in Detroit, and that’s what makes this deal matter. Overpaid and unhappy former stars are necessary in any swap involving John Wall.
The Pistons can actually win in this deal if Wall returns to speed. He won’t be lacking motivation, that’s for sure. John Wall has been written off as a former star that could really help a team compete. Keep an eye on this one. John Wall and Blake Griffin may just throw their “for sale” signs up after all.