Leonsis: Wizards Not Trading Wall, Beal, Porter At Deadline

The Wizards have been below .500 and on the outside of the Eastern playoff picture all season, leading to speculation that the team may shop highly-paid veterans like John Wall, Bradley Beal, and Otto Porter. Asked today during a Q&A with WTOP in Washington about that possibility, however, Wizards owner Ted Leonsis dismissed the idea of a huge pre-deadline deal.

“We’re not trading any of those players,” Leonsis said of his Big Three, per Noah Frank of WTOP (Twitter link).

It’s the second major declaration this month by Leonsis, who said two weeks ago that the Wizards will “never, ever tank.” It was clear at that point that Washington planned to hang onto Beal, who has been leading the charge to get the team back into playoff position. Recent reports have indicated that the Wizards may be more open to the idea of moving Porter, but Leonsis’ comments today seem to suggest that’s not in the cards this season.

As for Wall, he’ll be sidelined for the rest of the 2018/19 campaign with a heel injury and is owed approximately $170MM over the next four years, so he has always been considered an unlikely trade candidate.

Of course, even though the Wizards don’t intend to move one of their most expensive players, that doesn’t mean they’ll stand pat at the deadline. Leonsis suggested today that the club could look to add around the edges within the next week, Frank tweets. The Wizards’ owner also noted that he views Washington’s 2019 first-round pick as a way to improve the roster for next season, adding, “I wouldn’t throw in the towel on this core.”

Leonsis avoided directly addressing the future of general manager Ernie Grunfeld, but it seems safe to assume that he’ll re-evaluate the management group if the Wizards end up in the lottery. When asked if he was happy with Grunfeld, Leonsis replied that he’s happy if the club meets its goals (Twitter link via Frank). For now, the goal is a playoff spot.

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9 thoughts on “Leonsis: Wizards Not Trading Wall, Beal, Porter At Deadline

  1. It’s not about “tanking”. The team currently constituted with Wall/Beal/Porter is not working even when healthy. They need to go in a new direction by breaking it up similar to Toronto.

  2. Wizards are committed to losing. Bold strategy, let’s see how it plays out for them

  3. The Pacers have lost 3 straight games, 2 by better than 20 points with Oladipo and Evans out. Sumner has been starting at shooting guard. Add the Pacers to your trade watch.

    • x%sure

      Meanwhile Miami has too many 2s– but Riley won’t move anyone. Nor WAS and Beal. Would Pritchard be willing to help the Knicks’ goals by asking into CortneyLee… he’s a smart player, could adapt quickly. Evans for Lee would hurt Indy’s capspace next year but there would still be room for a max, and the EC playoffs are wide open this year. And Indy’s ethic is not to just give up.

      • I’m wondering if Pacers will talk to Heat about Dion Waiters? The Heat were wanting to move him earlier.

  4. kylewait89

    I just don’t see anyone taking Wall.
    He’s not a bad player but he has become a problem recently and is making a lot of money. I’d be stoked if Sacramento landed Porter but they likely aren’t giving what they want.

    And Washington is Beal’s team now. The dude could average 30 by seasons end while diming 6 or 7 assists a game. Offensive rating has been at its highest all season while the defensive rating is at its lowest. Wiz are just a better team without Wall. I mean honestly with his salary, they would at least field complimentary parts to compete in the East. Not win a title but be dangerous.

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