Washington Wizards: Three Big Questions at the Halfway Mark

Washington Wizards, John Wall, Bradley Beal (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images)
Washington Wizards, John Wall, Bradley Beal (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images) /
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Washington Wizards, John Wall, Bradley Beal, Otto Porter
Washington Wizards, John Wall, Bradley Beal, Otto Porter (Photo by Jonathan Newton / The Washington Post via Getty Images) /

Will the Wizards break up their core of Wall, Beal, and Porter?

As mentioned earlier, at one point this season, it seemed like at least one of either Wall, Beal, or Porter could be on the move. A little less than a couple months later though, it’s a bit cloudier whether any of them will be traded any time soon. Let’s touch on each of them in order of least likely to be moved.

It’s hard to see another team trading for Wall right now. Not only is he coming off of a second major injury that is forcing him to miss a huge chunk of the season, but his max extension hasn’t even kicked in yet. Also, while the shine of Wall isn’t as bright as it was a few years, the franchise owes so much of its recent success to him and he deserves credit as well as respect from the organization for that. Parting with such a big-name star who has played his entire career in Washington is going to require a mega-deal to justify, and there likely isn’t another team that would be willing to take Wall on right now.

Meanwhile, Beal is probably the Wizard that other teams want the most. Most recently, the Toronto Raptors were linked to pursuing the All-Star shooting guard, although it would cost them a lot. If the Wizards are ever serious about moving on from Beal then that means they’re giving up their most reliable player and blowing the whole thing up. Evidently, the Wizards don’t seem to be at that point, at least not yet, so Beal probably isn’t going anywhere either.

That brings us to Porter, who is probably the most likely to be moved as a high-end complementary player. Sure, he’s expensive and other teams know that, but if there’s a playoff team out there that thinks a long wing who can shoot the three and play solid defense can help them compete for a title, they could make an offer that attracts the Wizards’ front office. The deal would likely involve the other team unloading an equally expensive contract, although probably shorter than Porter’s, along with some draft picks. Don’t think another team would propose a deal like this? The Cavs did over the past few years: They took on big-money contracts for short-term, win-now success (like J.R. Smith or George Hill) in order to compete with the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals.

To answer the question, even that scenario seems improbable just from looking at the landscape around the NBA right now, meaning it’s hard to see any of the trio elsewhere this season, and potentially into the next one too.