New York Knicks, Washington Wizards

Trading for John Wall would be most Knicks move ever

The New York Knicks have developed a reputation for short-sighted moves chasing star power, and they haven’t really worked. That’s why a John Wall trade could be right in their wheelhouse.

Going back pretty much 20 years now, it seems like the New York Knicks just can’t get out of their own way. Front office hires have brought plenty of publicity but then been followed by bad contracts, bad draft picks and overall underachievement. But now, according to Marc Berman of the New York Post, the Knicks might be stocking up young assets to make an offer for John Wall.

The air of dysfunction around the Washington Wizards seems to be thinning a little, with five wins in their last seven games. But Wall and backcourt mate Bradley Beal will linger in trade rumors until further notice, with Beal seen as a more viable trade target.

Wall is making $19.1 million this season, but next season that changes in a big way. He starts a four-year, $170 million contract in 2019-20, with salaries starting at $37.8 million before crossing over $40 million in 2020-21 and finishing at $46.8 million in the final year of the deal on a player option. He also has a 15 percent trade kicker.

Berman laid out the idea of a three-team deal, where the Knicks would part with Frank Ntilikina, Damyean Dotson, Courtney Lee, a 2020 first-round pick and a second-round pick. But there is no mention of who that third team could be, or why that third team would be needed.

When it comes to the Knicks, nothing can be ruled out. The idea of trading for Wall comes with a lot of moving parts that are mostly financial, which would make a deal unlikely. But he will also be 29 by the time next season starts, and he has played more than 80 games just once in his career heading into this season.

The Knicks probably don’t have a long-term solution at point guard on the roster. Ntilikina has been phased out recently, Emmanuel Mudiay is trying to find his way and Trey Burke is a little banged up right now, while Allonzo Trier and Dotson pick up some slack.

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Wall is obviously a far more proven commodity, with star power that may play well in New York. But his looming contract is automatically limiting trade interest in him, and Knicks’ president Steve Mills needs to remember his previous preaching of patience ahead of being a potential player for free agents next summer. Adding Wall goes against both of those ideas.

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