The Washington Wizards appear to be looking for answers in the aftermath of John Wall’s devastating Achilles injury. Wednesday, the Wizards traded Otto Porter to the Chicago Bulls for Jabari Parker, Bobby Portis, and a 2023 second-round draft pick. And they may not be done.
According to Candace Buckner of the Washington Post, the Wizards inquired about Memphis Grizzlies star duo of guard Mike Conley and center Marc Gasol.
However, the Charlotte Hornets reportedly remain the front-runners for Gasol. It’s unclear what Washington would be offering.
Wall underwent season-ending heel surgery to clean out bone spurs on Jan. 8. He was expected to be out six-to-eight months. Unfortunately, he later ruptured his Achilles after slipping in the shower according to the team, and will undergo surgery. He is expected to be out at least an additional 12 months.
That diagnosis puts Wall in doubt for the 2019-20 season. Wall is due $37 million next season as his super max extension is set to kick in paying him an annual average of $42.3 million.
Wall’s injury and enormous extension has forced the Wizards to hit the reset button a bit. They traded Porter, who had two more seasons left on his max contract that pays him over $26.6 million per season. Getting back Parker, who has a team option for next season on his two-year contract, and Portis, who may serve as a permanent option at power forward, was the first step of their retooling.
Adding an established starting point guard such as Conley and a main fixture in the post like Gasol to possibly go alongside team star Bradley Beal is a move that would strongly be considered retooling. However, it’s hard to imagine what assets the Wizards have to send Memphis outside of Beal.
For now, the news of the Wizards inquiring about Conley and Gasol is nothing more than a report that gives insight in the mindset of the front office. However, if the Hornets and Grizzlies’ talks fall threw, the Wizards may be worth monitoring as a viable option to land the Memphis duo.