As the Washington Wizards‘ season spirals, the franchise has started to deliver teams an impression that every player on their roster — including All-Star guards John Wall and Bradley Beal — is available to discuss in trade scenarios, league sources told ESPN.
Washington’s preference remains to reshape the team around Wall and Beal, but poor play among key teammates is limiting their trade value and paralyzing the Wizards’ efforts to make meaningful changes to a roster that no longer appears functional together, league sources said.
The Wizards have resisted including Wall or Beal into previous trade talks, including discussions that they held for the league’s past two available stars, Kawhi Leonard and Jimmy Butler, league sources said. While Washington hasn’t shopped its All-Star backcourt, it is rapidly becoming apparent to the organization that it needs to start considering overtures for them.
Washington had hopes that forwards Otto Porter and Kelly Oubre could be centerpieces of deals that could return an impact third star, but those players have fetched minimal interest on the market. Porter has a massive contract on the books, including three years, $81 million left.
Coach Scott Brooks was fierce in his criticism of the Wizards after back-to-back home losses to Brooklyn and Portland this weekend.
“We got to just play with more enthusiasm, more effort, more energy,” Brooks told reporters on Sunday night. “It’s embarrassing.”
The Wizards are 5-11, just two games ahead of tanking Atlanta in the Southeast Division.
Beal, 25, could turn out to be the guard with the most value on the trade market — with his three-point shooting ability, a more manageable contract, and being three younger than Wall. Wall’s contract extension starts in 2019-20, which will average $42 million annually over the next four years.
What further complicates moving Wall is the inclusion of a 15 percent trade kicker in his deal. Wall is a five-time All-Star who’s been a favorite of ownership.