Detroit Pistons rumors: Team called Wizards about Blake Griffin-John Wall trade

Dec 30, 2019; Salt Lake City, Utah, USA; Detroit Pistons forward Blake Griffin (23) sits the bench with an injury against the Utah Jazz at Vivint Smart Home Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

It’s not a secret that Detroit Pistons rumors thus far this offseason has included a potential trade of injury-plagued All-Star forward Blake Griffin. At this point, it is going to be hard for Detroit to sell off Griffin’s bloated contract given the above-mentioned injury issues.

On the other hand, Washington Wizards guard John Wall might have the most untradeable contract in the entire NBA. So it stands to reason that these two names might come up in trade talks given the finances.

Detroit Pistons rumors: Team looking into Blake Griffin for John Wall trade

“The Pistons in recent weeks made an exploratory call to the Washington Wizards about a potential swap of Griffin for John Wall, sources said, but Detroit’s real level of interest in that deal is unclear,” ESPN’s Zach Lowe reported recently. “They value Griffin, and the conversation led nowhere, sources said. Tommy Sheppard, Washington’s GM, said this week he has no plans to trade Wall. The extra year on Wall’s deal suggests Detroit probably would ask for draft assets in any such swap.”

There would certainly be a lot of moving parts in a trade of this ilk. Primarily, the contracts switching sides. Hence, why a Griffin for Wall trade would even be possible in the era of the NBA salary cap

John Wall contract

The five-time All-Star inked a four-year, $171.1 million extension with Washington back in 2017. He’s under contract for the next two seasons with a player option for a third year. Here are Wall’s cap hits moving forward.

  • 2020-21: $44.25 million
  • 2021-22: $44.31 million
  • 2022-23: $47.37 million (player option)

Blake Griffin contract

On the other hand, Griffin inked his current five-year, $171.1 million deal back in July of 2017 when he was a member of the Los Angeles Clippers. Here’s a look at his cap break down.

  • 2020-21: $36.81 million
  • 2021-22: $38.96 million

Given their injury issues in recent seasons, it stands to reason that both Wall and Griffin will opt in to the final years of their contracts. If so, Wall is owed roughly $48 million more in cold hard cash. That’s why Detroit would likely demand draft pick compensation in return.

Detroit Pistons rumors: How would a Blake Griffin for John Wall trade look?

Detroit Pistons rumors: John Wall trade?
Dec 3, 2018; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks point guard Emmanuel Mudiay (1) drives to the basket against Washington Wizards point guard John Wall (2) during the third quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

A one-for-one trade would work for both sides under the current NBA salary cap rules. However, the Pistons would want Washington to up the ante a bit in terms of draft picks. Perhaps, Washington offers up young wing Troy Brown to sweeten the pot.

What we do know is that Detroit is absolutely loaded in the frontcourt after bringing in veterans Jahlil Okafor, Mason Plumlee and Dewayne Dedmon this offseason while drafting Saddiq Bey and Isaiah Stewart.

It makes sense that the Pistons might want to trade Griffin. However, we’re not 100% sure the Wizards are open to this possibility. There’s a chance they want to run it back with Wall and Bradley Beal for at least one more season.

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