The Washington Wizards’ disastrous start to the 2018-19 season has thrown their star point guard, John Wall, into the fires that is the NBA rumor mill.
While his name has popped up in trade talks often over the past few weeks, the New York Post’s Marc Berman reports that the New York Knicks might be looking to get in on the action.
“Some in the league believe the Knicks are stocking up their young assets and will make a major play for Wall if he becomes available,” Berman wrote.
It would go against the believed rebuilding plan instituted by president Steve Mills and general manager Scott Perry. The Knicks have been diligent in the draft while taking chances on recent first-round picks that haven’t worked out elsewhere around the league.
The ideology has yielded a crop of younger players that include Frank Ntilikina, Damyean Dotson, Kevin Knox, Emmanuel Mudiay, Mitchell Robinson, and Trey Burke.
Berman notes that the Knicks would have to throw in Ntilikina and Dotson, along with veteran Courtney Lee’s contract and multiple 2020 draft picks.
It’s quite a price to pay, but New York would come away with its best point guard in years. The 28-year-old, who will be under team control until 2023, is averaging 21.3 points and 8.4 assists per game in his ninth season in the NBA.
His efforts haven’t done much to keep the Wizards in contention throughout the first quarter of the season. At 10-14, a dysfunctional Washington franchise sits at ninth in a weak Eastern Conference.
A trade to New York could provide Wall with a fresh start while helping the Knicks’ evolution into a conference contender. As it stands, the Knicks will have two max-salary roster slots available this summer, which would allow them to go after the likes of Kevin Durant.
Signing Wall would force management to invest a sizable portion of that money ($169.4 million) to the point guard over the next four seasons. That could cause an issue when it comes to locking Durant down in New York, as he has been linked with a move to Madison Square Garden over the past few months.
At the moment, all this talk seems nothing more than hypothetical considering the Wizards have not officially made Wall available yet. If things get turned around in the nation’s capital, the notion that Wall will be dealt should disappear completely. Should they continue to struggle though, whispers of a possible trade are only going to get louder.