A couple summers ago, when I returned from a vacation in South Dakota and Wyoming, I ended up stuck in the Idaho Falls Airport for almost ten hours after my plane was supposed to have left.
At one point, the airport staff realized that we’d been waiting so long that they needed to feed us, so they ordered a pizza.
45 minutes passed before they realized they’d somehow accidentally ordered the pizza from Richmond, Virginia, over 2,000 miles away.
Long story short, the pizza never got there.
The Washington Wizards are this tiny, sh*tty airport, and John Wall is the pizza that everyone was really happy about at first when it got ordered, until it never really got there.
And now here they are, sitting at 11th in the Eastern Conference, and having finished as the eighth seed last year, despite having, on paper, enough talent to compete for home court advantage.
Which means it’s time to break it up. Let’s look at some ways they could do just that.
Option 1: Fire Ernie Grunfeld
This should be more of a must than just an option at this point. They haven’t had any real success during his time in the front office, and when Grunfeld was hired, Christian Laettner was still on the team. Christian Laettner is now 49 years old.
Considering he hasn’t been able to create a successful team in over 15 years on the job, it’s frankly ridiculous that he hasn’t already been fired by now.
Option 2: Trade John Wall
Washington receives: Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma
Los Angeles Lakers receives: John Wall
L.A. is, of course, connected with John Wall as a possible destination, because L.A. is connected with everyone as a possible destination. People are clamoring for another big name to be added alongside LeBron, and it’s certainly a possibility. The Wizards would get two young players who both already play at a very high level, and the Lakers would add another star to help LeBron turn this into a contending team.
Washington receives: T.J Warren, Elie Okobo
Phoenix receives: John Wall
Phoenix badly needs a point guard, and this is their opportunity. In order to convince the Wizards to part with their star man though, they would certainly have to give up a couple young assets. Warren could be a borderline all-star in the right situation, and Okobo would be a necessary addition into the trade because the Wizards would definitely ask for the young up-and-coming point guard in return.
Washington receives: Jamal Murray, Miles Plumlee
Denver receives: John Wall
Denver could be a bit of a ‘sleeper’ destination for Wall in case of a trade, as this team is underwhelming despite having a team that should be able to do some real damage. Adding Wall could give them a second main guy that could launch them closer to contention sooner rather than later.
Option 3: Trade Bradley Beal
Washington receives: Jeremy Lamb, Malik Monk, Marvin Williams, 2019 1st Round Pick (top 10 protected)
Charlotte receives: Bradley Beal
If the start of the year has proven anything, it’s that Kemba badly needs help in Charlotte if he’s going to stay there. Teaming up him and Beal could be a dangerous backcourt duo. Washington would get back the expiring contracts of Williams and Lamb, which could help them retool over the summer, and young assets for the future in the form of Monk and a first round pick.
Washington receives: Khris Middleton, John Henson
Milwaukee receives: Bradley Beal, Jeff Green, 2nd Round Pick
Milwaukee would surround Giannis Antetokounmpo with guys who can space the floor very effectively in this case, which is something they badly need if he’s going to continue to fail to develop a shot. With this option, Washington would simply be replacing Beal with another of the league’s best two-guards, and if Middleton could fit into the system quickly, they would be able to turn around their season this year in a way that none of the other options make probable.
Washington receives: Montrezl Harrell, Patrick Beverley, Avery Bradley
Los Angeles Clippers receives: Bradley Beal, Thomas Bryant
Bradley and Beverley have expensive, expiring contracts this offseason, and it could clear up a lot of cap space for free agency to pull the trigger on this one. The Clippers are already overachieving, and while a move this big does risk potentially messing up chemistry, Beal would be a clear number one option for them and it would certainly be worth pulling the trigger.
Option 4: Trade Otto Porter
Washington receives: Maurice Harkless, Meyers Leonard, 2020 1st Round Pick (Protected 1-24)
Portland receives: Otto Porter
Portland needs an upgrade at small forward unless they plan on getting swept in the first round again. Going from Harkless to Porter while getting rid of Meyers Leonard’s contract makes it worth giving up a protected first, and with Meyers Leonard playing surprisingly well this year, bringing him in as a stretch big could be an interesting experiment.
Washington receives: Jabari Parker, Cameron Payne
Chicago receives: Otto Porter
Chicago actually as far away from being a playoff team as it might seem, and having someone with the length and versatility of Porter playing the three could be the piece that gets them there. Parker is already disappointing many Chicago fans, but in Washington he would be comfortably in the role of sixth man, and could seriously help out their bench.
Washington receives: Dennis Schroder, Jerami Grant
Oklahoma City receives: Otto Porter, Jeff Green, Two 2nd Round Picks
Again a trade that Washington would consider mostly to strengthen their bench, Oklahoma City is in ‘win now’ mode, but they just aren’t quite good enough to get over the hump into legitimate contention. A player like Porter would be a huge addition to a team in their situation.