The Washington Wizards have been this most disappointing team to open the NBA season. They are 2-7 with a bottom five offense and defense. More than just that, spend time around the team and you can see the chemistry issues — guys going to the ground and not being helped up, guys jogging through cuts, a lot of standing around during halfcourt sets, a lack of high fives with teammates, it all shows a noticeable lack of chemistry.
Already there have been calls for change — fans have called for the heads of coach Scott Brooks, GM Ernie Grunfeld, and calls to trade everyone.
Wall’s supermax extension kicks in next season, with a starting salary of $38 million…. They have few trade assets beyond Bradley Beal, who has surpassed the slower, crankier, indifferent version of Wall we see too often now as the team’s best player…
But Wall is the Wizards’ franchise player, about to cycle onto the largest allowable contract in the NBA. A player in even slight decline — and time will tell if Wall is such a player — on that kind of deal is an albatross. You cannot build a team around an underperforming star soaking up 40 percent of the cap….
A Wall deal before July 1 is unlikely in part due to complexities surrounding his 15 percent trade kicker — believed to be the first trade kicker that would be spread over the length of a supermax contract. Trade kickers cannot lift a player’s salary above his maximum in the year he is traded, meaning Wall’s payout could shrink if the Wizards trade him in 2019-20 once he shifts onto his supermax deal — and perhaps close to $0 in that 2019-20 season, sources say.
Except, because Wall is at the max starting next summer, his trade kicker may have to be paid in a lump sum this season (a trade kicker can’t take a player over the max). That makes it less likely a trade for Wall gets done.
Not that it matters, right now there just is little demand for Wall on the market, Beal is the guy teams want. The Wizards, wisely, are not interested in trading Beal. Maybe a suitor pops up for Wall — Lowe suggests the erratic and point guardless Suns — but it’s hard to see any team taking Wall off the Wizards hands. They built this team around Wall, Beal, and Otto Porter, and they are going to have to live with it for a while.
And, unfortunately, so are Wizards fans.