I am generally a lurker around here, but I check the site often and am very intrigued by the Wizards rebuilding efforts. In this post, I will be building off of the great NBA Draft 2012: Targeting Extra Picks In Trade articles.
I never understand why teams don't fully utilize their cap space to their advantage as building through the draft is one of the main ways of adding talent for a rebuilding team. It's something I think about a lot and I like playing GM and coming up with these scenarios. I think the moves I've listed would enable the Wizards to add another top 5 pick and at least make the playoffs next year. To make these trades, Washington will have to amnesty Blatche and pay the buy out option for Rashard Lewis which they were already going to do.
The first trade is to acquire the Bucks' 12th pick by taking on Beno Udrih's contract, a scenario, Bullet Nation in Exile included in his post. This trade is only a part of my plan, but an essential piece of the puzzle. This is a textbook example of taking on a contract for a pick and is an ideal trade for the Wizards. I don't even think of this trade as taking on a bad contract. I think Udrih is a little overpaid, but he has proved himself to be an excellent backup point man and is great off the bench. He fills a need of a playmaker, scorer, and adds veteran leadership to this young team. Additionally, I think he and Wall would play off each other well. The Wizards may also have to include future second round picks in this trade which is a small price to pay.
My second move would be to acquire the Warriors' seventh pick by taking on Richard Jefferson's contract. Now this may be an unpopular move and I understand why some people would be against taking on Jefferson's contract, but this is another good trade in my opinion. Jefferson isn't a bad player; he's no star of course, but he is a very solid role player. He adds the shooting and defense the Wizards desperately need at a position that they have no talent whatsoever. I am not saying he covers the Wiz at the SF position, but he is a decent starter, fills needs, and won't make mistakes. Also, he always has a great attitude and will be a good veteran presence to have.
By possessing these picks, the Wizards can move up into the top five in trades with either the Cavs or Kings. I think the Kings are more likely to accept the trade to build assets, but Cleveland would strongly consider it. I say only consider for the Cavs because they appear to be dead set on drafting Harrison Barnes, but it's possible they'd accept. Anyways, with these two top 5 picks, the Wizards could draft any 2 of MKG, Brad Beal, Thomas Robinson, or Harrison Barnes. If the draft follows the order most mock drafts have set, Washington would draft Beal and Robinson.
After making these trades and drafting Beal and Robinson, I think the Wizards have not only built a great young core to build on, but are also a playoff team. The East is weak enough that the Wizards would at least make the 8th seed and could go as high as 6th. This Wizards team would be very deep and a pretty damn good team with a lot of potential. They'd have a strong bench, playmaking and a star PG, shooting on the wings, and a lot of talent and depth up front. After Jefferson's contract expires, Washington would have their cap space back to use as well. I think this draft could be the opportunity the Wizards need to greatly accelerate their rebuilding efforts and become a legitimate contender for years to come.