Brian Scalabrine hears Wizards were 'like a month away' from trading John Wall

Chris Lingebach
May 23, 2019 - 7:06 pm
Brian Scalabrine: Wizards were 'like a month away' from trading Wall

Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

The benefit of hindsight always plays a funny role in history.

For instance, had the Washington Wizards known John Wall was going to rupture his Achilles, they probably would have considered trading their star point guard before his inevitable injury.

They didn't, because they couldn't see into the future, and now they're saddled with his $170.9 million supermax contract that's set to kick in this coming season, while Wall's on the shelf recovering for perhaps the entire 2019-20 season. They'll conceivably be paying Wall $38.15 million to play exactly zero games. Washington also has $27 million tied up in Bradley Beal next season.

But what if the Wizards had considered trading Wall before his seasons-ending injury? According to Radio.com Sports NBA Insider Brian Scalabrine, that may not be far off from reality.

While explaining why the Wizards shouldn't trade Beal, Scalabrine dropped this dime on The Sports Junkies Wednesday morning.

"I mean the John Wall thing is like a disaster for them," Scalabrine said. "I heard they were like a month away from trading him to Miami, but then this whole idea that... I mean, he got hurt and his Achilles popped."

Whoa.

Scalabrine didn't expound on what he'd heard, and there were no follow-ups, so there's no use treating this any more seriously than a rumor, but it does raise questions about the Wizards' internal thinking as the NBA trade deadline approached.

The Wizards had just announced Wall's ruptured Achilles' two days prior to the Feb. 7 deadline.

Wall sustained the injury after falling in his home on Jan. 29, nine days before the deadline. But Wall's 2018-19 season was effectively over on Dec. 29, the day the Wizards announced his prior debridement surgery to repair a Haglund’s deformity and chronic Achilles tendon injury in his left heel, the same heel he would re-injure on Jan. 29.

So any trade talks concerning Wall would likely have occurred before Dec. 29, because injured players are seldom traded (although it does happen). Wall, you may remember, had already been playing through the pain to that point before ultimately deciding to undergo surgery.

If what Scalabrine's saying is accurate, the Wizards were likely deciding on Wall's future with the team prior to Dec. 29. We may never know. Not even with hindsight.

Anyhow, Scalabrine thinks the Wizards shouldn't trade Beal unless they could recoup a top-five draft pick.

"I don't know when John Wall's gonna be back," he said. "The Wizards are in a tough place, but Brad Beal is young. Unless you're saying we want to be bad and tank for five years, and try to reload assets and maybe we can get something for Brad Beal, like a top-five pick. And you talk to the Knicks about doing it, maybe something along those lines, of getting the number three pick.

"I'd have to a get a top-five pick for Brad Beal and then I'd have to figure out how I'm gonna be bad so I can continue to get back into the lottery," he said. "That's not a place that you want to be. You've got a guy, you just gotta figure out how to manage this John Wall thing."

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