Wizards

Report: Pistons called Wizards about a Wall-Griffin trade

Wizards

Most of the discussion surrounding a potential John Wall trade has been about Russell Westbrook and the Rockets.

Westbrook and Wall have nearly identical contracts, play the same position and could both potentially benefit from a change of scenery. But of the possible landing spots for Wall, despite general manager Tommy Sheppard's insistence that the team doesn't have plans to move the five-time All-Star, the Pistons are as suitable as the Rockets. 

According to ESPN's Zach Lowe, the Pistons made an "exploratory call" to the Wizards in recent weeks regarding a Wall for Blake Griffin swap, though the talks ultimately went nowhere. 

"The Pistons in recent weeks made an exploratory call to the Washington Wizards about a potential swap of Griffin for John Wall, sources said, but Detroit's real level of interest in that deal is unclear," Lowe wrote. "They value Griffin, and the conversation led nowhere, sources said. Tommy Sheppard, Washington's GM, said this week he has no plans to trade Wall. The extra year on Wall's deal suggests Detroit probably would ask for draft assets in any such swap."

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Blake Griffin has two years left on his contract and is set to make $36.6 million this season, making it an easy salary match for Wall's $41.2 million cap number. But as Lowe points out, Griffin has two years left on his deal while Wall has three. If the objective is to get out of a big-money contract quicker, the Wizards would seemingly have to make it worth the Pistons' while. 

 

There's also the issue of how Griffin would fit on the Wizards' roster with Rui Hachimura in place at power forward and in need of more time to develop. Trading Wall for a non-ball-handler would also create quite the hole at point guard for Washington. 

The Wizards could theoretically work with the Rockets and Pistons to facilitate a three-team deal where Wall goes to Detroit, Griffin goes to Houston and Westbrook comes to Washington. This possible trade hasn't been reported in any way, but it could be an avenue for the Wizards to acquire Westbrook without giving up an additional asset. 

However, the Wizards' reported discussions with the Pistons carry the same tune as their reported talks with the Rockets. Both have been deemed "exploratory" and eventually went nowhere. So until more comes out, Wall will remain a Wizard and play alongside Bradley Beal for the first time in two years.