Acquiring extra first round draft picks is like watching Nicolas Cage lose his mind; you must have MOAR. We've all heard over and over how deep the 2012 draft is, and what that depth can add to a team with extra picks to burn. Therefore it's only natural we want to see the Wizards acquire more picks, but will they?
The Wizards 'plan to be GOOD', so I'm anticipating an institutional reluctance to execute BOYD trades that worsen the roster or add significant salary. That makes it difficult to involve Rashard Lewis in a BOYD scenario without adding a big contract...and if the Wizards target an impact talent attached to that contract, it will take more than sweetening the deal with Andray Blatche to make it work, especially as the size of Lewis' contract and paucity of partners would likely result in a cap millstone pawned off on the franchise.
We'll have enough assets to make trades and have cap space at some point to bring in difference-makers
Nene Hilario certainly fits the bill, but Ted used the plural with respect to difference-makers and fans certainly aren't shy about discussing a move for high-profile small forwards Andre Iguodala, Rudy Gay or Danny Granger. It's anyone guess what these players would command in a trade. Although if Iggy was available for Martell Webster, the Wizards should sweat out the details as soon as possible. These are the kinds of players who bring in court value as well as salary, and it's easy to see how they can command more value than even major cap savings. But there is further impediment to swinging a BOYD trade, even if the Wizards straight amensty Blatche and cut Lewis.
If they don't, they have no impact veteran a la Kirk Hinrich to compel a playoff contender looking for a quality piece to part with their late first rounder. If they do clear maximum space, there's no free agent apocalypse with the balance of the league at stake for a team to feel pressured to dump salary at any cost for creating a max offer. Therefore, it seems the only way to acquire a first rounder is to ante up.
Bobcats: With Thomas Robinson, Bradley Beal and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist in a class of their own and addressing needs on the Wizards roster, it's difficult to see the benefit of surrendering assets to trade up. Also unlikely the Wizards would offer sufficient inducement for Charlotte to trade down. No deal.
Cavaliers: Cleveland's money is invested in the right players, this is pretty much the same situation with Charlotte, in reverse.
Kings: Sacto has need at SF and can draft it with their eyes closed. Will they surrender their draft pick for the privilege of dumping some combination of John Salmons, Francisco Garcia and (heh) Travis Outlaw? Who would the Kings use that cap space on, anyway? Jason Thompson? Are the Wiz even willing to take on some or many toxic assets for the rights to the fifth pick?
Trail Blazers: Portland has two lottery picks at #6 and #11 but no bad salary on the books. That's right, all their long term money is in LaMarcus Aldridge, Wesley Matthews, rookies and soon to be more rookies. Maybe we could offer Kevin Seraphin...so I have a poll question for you: What's the lowest lottery pick you value more than Keveen?
Warriors: Some combination of Jared Sullinger, Andre Drummond and/or John Henson will be available...do they really want to dump Andris Biedrins or Richard Jefferson that badly? Would the Wiz take on that much money for a mid-lottery pick? Unlikely. But after the conniption the team had over securing full rights to their draft pick from the Jazz, chances for a deal here plummet.
Raptors: Toronto is another one of those teams needing all the help it can get, especially since this year's lottery pick might suit up before last year's. Would they be willing to dump their pick for a chance to ditch Linas Kleiza and the two remaining years and $9.2 million on his deal? Maybe sliding into (or at least towards) the realm of the possible.
Pistons: $26 million left on Ben Gordon's deal, $16.6 million on Charlie Villanueva's and perhaps a distant echo of Joe Dumars' credibility are salting the earth in Detroit. The new and punishing luxury tax rules will go into effect with one year left on both players' deals and the prospect of some cap flexibility to go with a side of 8 players under contract for $42 million that year might add up to an available lottery pick. And then of course there's that whole 'it's a lot of money to pay for a low lottery ticket' thing. But honestly, Detroit will be a better BOYD target next year...as will our next prospective trade partner.
Hornets: Yes, trading for Emeka Okafor and Trevor Ariza is a possibility...but a likely one? Coaches love playoff-tested veterans, the Hornets are relatively cap-healthy; they don't need to compete (or at least they don't need to spend) right now. And if they find themselves there, Okafar and Ariza have more benefit than helping the team reach the cap floor. Another team ripe for a BOYD, especially if the new cap penalties prevent them from being as cavalier as the Jazz with Mehmet Okur's expiring deal.
Suns: It's been a sad, slow descent into mediocrity for my favorite West Coast team. Believe it or not, I got an invite from a Suns representative to attend a meet and greet with the new Suns president on the team's future while writing this. I asked what he thought about having half their cap tied up in six players through 2013/14, role players and a third banana. He sighed and mentioned cap space for two max contracts...this was so depressing I didn't pursue the point. Hard times in Phoenix. The Suns are in dire need of talent, but Robert Sarver is infamous for cash-motivated moves. Even so, it's tough to imagine Phoenix gives up this pick, even with (much) more losing looming on the horizon.
Rockets: Never play a player. Houston is cap healthy and desperate for superstar talent...not a trade partner match made in heaven. Plus, I'm convinced that any attempt to deal with and get the better of Daryl Morey will end up with some member of the Wizards' front office waking up in a alleyway sans kidney.
Lottery picks are always tough to come by, and this year is no exception. Remember how some teams are willing sell their low first rounder for $3 million in cash? How about $9 million in contracts? $20+ million? Remember Kirk Hinrich's deal was eminently flippable, unlike many of the players who are candidates to come on board as cap weights. The Wizards haven't been afraid to foot the bill before, but the big question is how highly they rate certain players. Unfortunately for we amateur prognosticators, that's something we usually find out after the fact. Part two coming on Tuesday.