Washington Wizards: There Is No Such Thing As An Unmovable Contract
Drafted number one overall in 2010, John Wall is one of the best players in Wizards history. The point guard helped bring the Wiz out of the dark ages and led them to four playoff appearances in five years. He was also named to five straight All-Star teams and after posting a career year in 2017, the Wizards offered him the supermax.
Wall agreed to a four-year extension worth $170 million, but injuries continued to hamper his career. His 2019 season ended early due to a heel injury and he later ruptured his Achillies at home, causing him to miss over a year and a half.
From 2020-2023, Wall was owed $42.7 million a year. For a player coming off of an Achilles injury, arguably the hardest injury for a basketball player to recover from, his contract became the worst in the league.
However, GM Tommy Sheppard wasn’t worried. Right before the start of the 2021 season, he traded Wall and a first-round pick to the Rockets for future Hall of Famer Russell Westbrook. Westbrook had two years left of his supermax contract and in his first year in D.C., he averaged a triple-double. With Russ at the point, Washington returned to the playoffs for the first time in three years.
Following the 2021 season, Sheppard traded Westbrook to the Lakers for Montrez Harrel, KCP, Kyle Kuzma, and a first-round pick. In the span of two years, Shepard was able to trade two contracts that were seen as unmovable and added much-needed depth to the roster.
For the Nationals, Stephen Strasburg and Patrick Corbin’s contracts are some of the worst in MLB. Strasburg is owed $35 million a year for the next five years, but has only thrown 26 1/3 innings over the past two seasons. Patrick Corbin just finished last in the Majors in ERA and still has three years left on his $140 million contract.
It won’t be easy to get either contract off the books, but if they can return to form in 2022 that will go a long way to helping the situation.