The Wizards and Rockets discussed a John Wall–Russell Westbrook trade.
Which apparently didn’t sit well with Wall.
But Washington is moving ahead with building a frontcourt that complements Wall and Bradley Beal, re-signing forward Davis Bertans and signing center Robin Lopez.
Shams Charania of The Athletic:
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
Free agent forward Davis Bertans has agreed to a 5-year, $80M deal to return to the Washington Wizards, his agent @ArtursKalnitis tells ESPN. Deal includes an ETO after fourth year. One of biggest deals ever for a European-based agent in NBA.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) November 21, 2020
Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports:
Westbrook’s trade request was absurd because of his huge contract. And he made All-Star and All-NBA teams last season.
Wall is due a similar amount ($132,932,520 over the next three years), wasn’t nearly as good as Westbrook at their peaks and missed last season due to injury.
Where does Wall think Washington can trade him?
More importantly: What does this mean for Beal? He signed a contract extension with the Wizards last year, in part, to play with Wall next season. Will Wall wanting out push Beal to request his own trade?
Washington can’t consider the possibility. The Wizards have been building around Beal, and it’s too late to change course now. Hence, the Bertans and Lopez deals.
Bertans played awesomely last season, sat out the bubble, let other players recoup league-wide revenue and now cashes in in a salary-cap environment far more favorable because the bubble happened. He’s a tremendous 3-point shooter and arguably Beal’s best teammate.
Lopez, who declined a $5,005,350 player option with the Bucks, comes out ahead. The mid-level exception is worth $9,258,000. My guess: Washington is saving a sliver to sign No. 53 pick Cassius Winston to longer than a two-year contract. Remove the rookie minimum ($898,310) plus maybe a little more for Winston, and that still leaves plenty for Lopez.
That’s expensive for a center, especially one who got benched in last season’s playoffs. But Lopez fills an immediate need in Washington and provides size and defense that Thomas Bryant, for all his positives, doesn’t.
As far as what Lopez walks into with the Wizards…