The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported on Twitter that Wizards point guard John Wall wants to be traded away from the Wizards. Details are scarce at the moment, but rumors surfaced within the past week that Washington and the Houston Rockets discussed a Russell Westbrook for Wall trade.
Reportedly, Wall was surprised by the news, and was later upset when he heard Wizards general manager Tommy Sheppard say the team was building around All-Star guard Bradley Beal. The team, and its owner Ted Leonsis, reportedly were unhappy when video surfaced of Wall making gang hand signs at a party held during the pandemic.
The question now is whether the Wizards will move to accommodate Wall’s request. Trading him would seem a challenging task given that he hasn’t taken the floor for an NBA game in more than two years, and that he missed at least half the regular season with injuries the previous two seasons. The last time Wall played a full season was 2016-17, when he made third team All-NBA and signed a supermax contract extension that began this past season.
Sheppard is renowned for his people skills and may be able to talk Wall down from his request. The team has made roster moves over the past two seasons to reload around Wall and Beal in an effort to return to the playoffs. That includes re-signing Davis Bertans, an elite shooter the team hoped to see on the floor with Wall this season.
On other hand, Sheppard has sometimes taken an “if you want out, we’ll help you go” approach with other players. That was the team’s approach with former Wizards like Jared Jeffries, Larry Hughes and Trevor Ariza.