The NBA rumor mill never cools off. And while there’s nothing directly linking the situation between Milwaukee Bucks forward Khris Middleton and Washington Wizards guard John Wall, not everyone is willing to ignore it. After all, how Wednesday played out was a bit strange, to put it lightly.
First, Wall was ruled out early in the day for personal reasons, and then just prior to the Bucks game against the Detroit Pistons, Middleton was also ruled out with the same label. As Matt Velazquez of the Journal Sentinel revealed, this marked one of the first games missed in nearly two seasons for Middleton, and he wasn’t with the team.
No one is entirely sure of what the situation is, and while everyone hopes that things are alright for both players, it led to a whole lot of trade speculation. This was largely due to the fact that Wall has been rumored to be on the trade block, and Middleton was apparently benched in Milwaukee’s last game.
Twitter Believes a Middleton-Wall Trade is Coming
Unfortunately, This Deal Is Highly Unlikely
There are a few reasons why this just doesn’t make a lot of sense right now, but it’s specifically not something we should expect the Wizards to embrace. After all, if Washington did trade Wall, they’d be on the hook to pay his trade kicker, which would come in around $20 million. If they opt to wait until the offseason, that number drops down close to nothing, making a trade then far more likely.
When trade speculation around Wall began, NBA analyst Tom Haberstroh joined Zach Lowe on The Lowe Post podcast to discuss it. He essentially shut down the potential for a Wall trade to happen any time in the near future.
Haberstroh: “The trade kicker for John Wall right now is at $21 million that the Wizards would have to eat if they traded John Wall today. And next year, what you wrote is 100 percent accurate, which is – this is kind of a weird CBA quirk that the trade kicker would be 15 percent this year of his remaining contract, which is a huge number. It’s $20 million that they would have to pay just to get rid of him.”
To make things seem even less likely, the Wizards would be trading arguably their best player for an expiring contract. As Spotrac shows, Middleton has a player option for the 2019-20 season and can choose to test free agency if he wants. There doesn’t seem to be any way the Wizards take an expiring deal for Wall on top of paying his trade kicker currently.