- The Washington Times
Saturday, November 21, 2020

After his name came up in trade rumors earlier this week, John Wall reportedly wants out of Washington. 

Wall demanded to be traded from the Wizards, according to multiple reports. The news comes as The Athletic reported Wednesday that the team had discussed trading him for Rockets star point guard Russell Westbrook.

The demand overshadowed a busy beginning to free agency for the Wizards as it re-signed Davis Bertans (five years, $80 million) and added veteran center Robin Lopez (one year, worth slightly less than $9 million) and forward Anthony Gill. 

Wall’s request also complicates next season for the Wizards when it begins next month. Despite discussing a trade for Westbrook, Wizards general manager Tommy Sheppard has said many times that he’s eager to see Wall return to the court after the point guard hasn’t played an NBA game in nearly two years due to various injuries. 

Even if the Wizards want to move Wall, it might be difficult to find a trade partner. Wall has one of the most player-friendly contracts in the NBA — he’s set to make more than $40 million in each of the next two seasons and has a player option for $47 million in 2022-23.

There are questions of how effective Wall, a five-time All-Star, can be coming off a torn Achilles. So much of Wall’s game is predicated on speed and being able to aggressively attack the basket. 

In Wall’s absence, guard Bradley Beal emerged as Washington’s best player — with Beal’s game taking a tremendous leap forward in each of the years without playing alongside Wall. 

On Tuesday, Sheppard said he was building the team around Beal — not mentioning Wall — when speaking to reporters.

He’s a cornerstone,” Sheppard said of Beal. “He’s a person that we’re building this franchise around.”

The Athletic first reported Wall’s trade request. 

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