By Connor Thomas
Yesterday, it was reported that the Houston Rockets have agreed to help veteran PG John Wall seek a trade that would move the 5 time NBA All-Star and former #1 overall pick out of Houston. Immediately there was some response from NBA twitter, including some folks speculating that Wall may find a home in Philly as part of a trade for Ben Simmons. I hate to be the one to burst that bubble for those people who want to see that happen, but it never will. And it shouldn’t even be a consideration to begin.
One of the important pieces of an eventually Ben Simmons trade will be making the money match with prospective teams. John Wall is actually one of the few players in the NBA who could be traded straight up for Simmons and the money would work on the Rockets end. The issue is that Wall is set to make over $44mil this year, while Simmons is set to make $33mil. While both contracts are massive, taking on that extra $11mil would put the Sixers nearly $3mil into the luxury tax. And for what? Wall has experienced more than his fair share of injuries in his career, and despite his undeniable ability to score the basketball, has never won anything in the NBA. He was shipped out of Washington for Russell Westbrook last year, as the Wizards gave up on their long time face of the franchise in favor of a new build. Whether it is the fault of his situation in Washington, or more a reflection of his own shortcomings, it seems that Wall has an inability to be a player that leads a team to playoff success.
“But Ben Simmons has proven the same thing!” you might say. You would be correct in that sentiment. But why would you pay an extra $11mil this year (and then $47mil in total next year) for a player that doesn’t get you any closer? It makes absolutely no sense to make a move for John Wall. He is still a capable NBA player, but it would be hard to claim he is anywhere close to his former All-Star self. That makes his remaining 2 years of a max extension maybe the most untradeable contract in the entire league. Hell, he could have one of the most untradeable contracts in professional sports in general right now. Damian Lillard may not be available, but that doesn’t mean that the Sixers should take on that behemoth of a financial commitment just to find a consolation prize in another recognizable name. John Wall is just that – a recognizable name. Besides that, he doesn’t bring much more positive to the table, and a whole heap of negative. 2009 Kentucky John Wall was incredible, but that nostalgia won’t bring the Sixers any closer to a championship. It will hamper their salary flexibility, and adds an injury prone player on the back end of a career. There’s no reason to even consider John Wall as a trade option for the Sixers, no matter how long the Ben Simmons situation drags on.