The Wizards are 21 and 17 with John Wall this year, which is on pace for a playoff spot. there is no reason to believe they cannot make the playoffs next year, with the same core group of guys, however, if they truly wish to contend for a championship, they must add pieces via free agency and the draft. I know I will get attacked for this, but my personal belief is that Nene needs to go. I know Nene is a great clubhouse guy and leader, but he is 30 years old and making 55,000,000 over the next 4 years. that is too much for an aging, injury prone player who, despite being nearly seven feet tall cannot find it in him to average either 13 points, 7 rebounds, or 1 block per night. He is also extremely slow, and an overrated defender. Furthermore, the wizards have a very similar player in Emeka Okafor, who is putting up good numbers, and playing terrific defense. Emeka is also a very good leader and a high quality guy to have in the clubhouse. I would rather have Okafor than Nene at this point in their careers. I think the Wizards should attempt to trade Nene- but for who? Washington should definitely try to get cap space back for Nene. The Boston celtics are a team in need of a big man to complement Kevin Garnett and would likely be interested if the Brazilian big man is on the market. The Wizards should trade Nene for Avery Bradley and Jared Sullinger. bradley projects as a backup point guard to John Wall, something the Wiz desperately need, and Sullinger has a future as a Power Forward. Boston is still in win now mode, and Nene improves their team for next season.
The Wizards would lose upwards of 10 million dollars in cap space, and with a few savvy moves they could go out and try to get a player like Nikola Pekovic of the Minnesota Timberwolves. Pekovic is a restricted free agent and would probably command a deal like 4 years 38 million. If the Wizards trade nene, they could find the cap space to sign him, while Minnesota is over the cap, and will not be able to afford Pekovic. The 27 year old center is averaging a 16-9 in 31 minutes a night and would be a great addition to the Wizards.
The Wizards next move in free agency should be to lock up Martell Webster to a 2 or 3 year deal. he fits in great with the team, and is a great locker room presence.
Washington will likely be picking in the 7- 11 range in the draft which is still a lottery pick, but more of a hit or miss spot. Of course, with Ernie Grunfeld as our GM, we are always in a big hit or miss spot. According to NBA draft analysis, the averages of a 7- 11 draft pick range from 10 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists to 7.5 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 2 assists. Most players selected here, are good.. but not great. There are obviously some exceptions and superstars do get picked here, but so do busts. The Wizards are being projected to take Alex Len, Mason Plumlee, Rudy Gorbert, Isaiah Austin, and various others. None of these prospects really jump off the table as stars and it is my belief that we should trade the pick. In a previous post, I lobbied for the Wizards to go after Ersan Ilyasova. I think we could get him for a number one, plus Seraphin, plus Singleton/ Booker. If the wizards play out this offseason the way I outlined ( I know they won't but still) that would leave the roster as
PG: John Wall-Avery Bradley
SG: Bradley Beal-Garret Temple
SF: Martell Webster-Trevor Ariza-Singleton/ Booker (whoever we keep)
PF: Ersan Ilyasova-Jared Sullinger-Jan Vesely
C: Nikola Pekovic-Emeka Okafor
That is a fantastic roster, capable of a deep playoff run.