Why Chris Miller thinks John Wall trade talk moved forward originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
A viral video from September may have played a role in trade talks involving Wizards guard John Wall, NBC Sports Washington Insider Chris Miller reported.
Miller said he spent much of Tuesday night trying to figure out what was driving the trade talk on a franchise player who was once thought to be untradable after Shams Charania reported that the Wizards are considering trading Wall for Russell Westbrook.
One thing Miller landed on? That video, which showed Wall displaying gang signs, which he later apologized for.
"Listen, the incident that John had in Brooklyn is probably one of the reasons why this is probably being moved forward," Miller said on The Sports Junkies on Wednesday, hours after the trade report surfaced. "Although John has apologized for it, that incident kind of rubbed a lot of people within the organization the wrong way. And again, to John's credit, he admitted he was wrong. He wants to move forward.
"So that was where I think all of this is kind of coming from. And then plus, you have to remember, too, in the last two years what's happened with John being gone. Bradley Beal has become, in my opinion, an All-NBA type superstar, and what we saw last year with his ability to score the basketball at a high, high, high rate, and I think his leadership has grown. Brad is naturally a quiet young man, but he has really grown into that leadership role."
Miller said that he had been told Wizards GM Tommy Sheppard and team owner Ted Leonsis were unhappy with the video.
Wall is set to return from an Achilles injury that's sidelined him since the 2018 season. When asked about the Brooklyn incident last week, Sheppard told ESPN's Zach Lowe that it was "disappointing."
"It’s certainly very disappointing to see something like that. Knowing the persona and character of John Wall. It’s a difficult conversation," Sheppard said. "You can’t get framed if you aren’t in the picture. We can say that’s not who you are but if you’re in that photo, it goes around the world before you have a chance to explain."
Sheppard continued, "He made atone for it, he apologized immediately, the past is the past. Learn from the past don't live there. Now if it happens again that’s a situation where you’re like ‘okay, you didn’t learn from that.’ I’m sure John learned plenty there. It hurt him, it hurt the franchise, but he made atone for it, we've got to move on.
"Certainly doesn’t represent who John Wall really is. If you look at the millions of dollars he’s donated to charity, the hours, and things that he does can be undone by one photo."
When asked about the return of Wall, Sheppard's been positive, calling it like getting a number one pick - though he has noted it's Beal's team that Wall is coming back to.
"I'm just really excited for him to do what he loves to do," Sheppard said of Wall's return.
For more interviews, tune into Sports Junkies on NBC Sports Washington, weekdays from 6-10 a.m.