The Washington Wizards currently rank as the third-worst team in NBA, sporting a lowly 3-9 record after three weeks of early season action. The season is still early so panic hasn’t gripped the team’s locker room fully, but for fans of the Washington franchise, the team’s start looks all too familiar for a normally frustrating unit. The Wizards continue to be centered on John Wall and Bradley Beal as the team’s marquee playmakers, but their health issues have sabotaged Washington’s start. Beal’s been in and out the lineup since training camp with different ailments, and Wall is still recovering from summer knee surgery that has kept him out of the second half of back-to-back dates.

Washington Wizards guard John Wall (2) looks on during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Houston Rockets, Monday, Nov. 7, 2016, in Washington. The Rockets won 114-106. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

Washington Wizards guard John Wall (2) looks on during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Houston Rockets, Monday, Nov. 7, 2016, in Washington. The Rockets won 114-106. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

With Beal freshly re-signed over the summer to a whopping $127 million deal, Washington is in a difficult situation with two high-profile max players on the roster and a lagging record. Should or could the team entertain remodeling the roster?   Perry Green and Stephen D. Riley of the AFRO Sports Desk debate whether or not the team should trade Wall.

Riley: The Washington Wizards aren’t exactly dripping with talent, and trading Wall would remove the team’s most talented and iconic player. I can see the reason for trading Wall as it would yield some much-needed accessories if the team wants to start over, but Wall isn’t the problem. General Manager Ernie Grunfeld continues to run the club with poor draft picks and free agent acquisitions. Unless the current mismatched team is cutting ties with its creator, I can’t see how moving Wall would help.

Green: Grunfeld has been horrible at acquiring pieces but he’s always had a specialty in trades. He hasn’t been overwhelmingly great but he’s been solid at retrieving talent through trades and he might be able to field a comfortable bounty for Wall. Washington desperately needs big impact men or really just any front court player who scores consistently and make a contribution on defense. Still, I wouldn’t trade Wall. If anybody, I’m trading Beal. He simply hasn’t been the player you want a team rallying behind and that’s OK. Beal is more suited for a sidekick role than main star yet he’s being paid like the latter. I know it seems like an impossible move to trade him but it has to be done. He’s wasting Wall’s prime years. Grunfeld needs to get Beal out of there and bring in someone that’s really going to help Wall instead of entertaining the idea of trading him. He’s your best player, don’t let him go.

Riley: I agree. And, while Wall, if handled properly, would fetch a king’s ransom, I remind you that it’s Grunfeld calling the shots. I have zero confidence that Grunfeld could pull off a decent trade that returns value to the franchise. And, the team is really only a piece or two away from being a true contender in the Eastern conference. Yes, LeBron James still plays for the Cleveland Cavaliers but Washington really isn’t far off. Beal and Wall catch a lot of flak but they’re all-star talents. Head coach Scott Brooks has a solid résumé and players like Otto Porter Jr. and Markieff Morris are versatile forwards with youth on their side. The team’s record stinks, but I wouldn’t count them out of the playoff hunt by season’s end. It’s not time to trade Wall.

Green: A number of knee surgeries could start to affect Wall’s career pretty soon, and for a player known mostly for his speed and agility that’s a frightening prospect. So, I understand why some think moving him now might be the best choice anyway. Wall isn’t the fresh-faced 20-year-old that he was when he was first drafted by the club in 2010. The Wizards haven’t been a free-agent destination team nor have they drafted particularly well over the years aside from Wall – who was the consensus top selection – and Beal. But moving Wall just doesn’t sit well with me. I don’t see how you would make the team better by trading away its best player during his prime years. I’ll pass on that move. Let me know when you’re ready to move Beal, though.

Perry Green and Stephen D. Riley

AFRO Sports Desk