The Wizards have made some good moves this offseason. They drafted well, they signed some quality free agents, their players are recovering well from injuries and the wheels are in motion to give the team an even-more solid playoff push than they were hoping to see last year. And most of all, non-Washington players, analysts and executives are recognizing that the Wizards could be something formidable next season.
With the improved roster, solid roster moves, and increased street cred, the Wizards are primed for a bold, splashy move. And I have just the move.
The Wizards should trade Emeka Okafor, Trevor Ariza and roster flotsam for Pau Gasol.
Why the Lakers should do it
- They lost Dwight Howard for nothing.
- Kobe Bryant is probably out for the first few months of the season recovering from his Achilles injury.
- Even with Steve Nash at the helm, it's highly probable that they won't make the playoffs.
- They're not too interested in competing for the top of the Western Conference, as evidenced by this latest move:
Sweet a guy as he is, @MettaWorldPeace will be waived via amnesty by Lakers to save about $30 million, barring some late change.
- KEVIN DING (@KevinDing) July 8, 2013
- The combined contracts of Okafor and Ariza will be huuuuge expiring deals next year for the Lakers, which will help them land any number of coveted free agents their fans assume belong to them.
Why the Wizards should do it
- Because Pau Gasol, despite his age, is still good at basketball.
- Because this team needs bigs that are good at basketball.
- By moving Ariza, it will eliminate the minutes allocation problem at small forward with the re-signing of Martell Webster and the drafting of Otto Porter (and the continued presence of Chris Singleton as a SF instead of a stretch 4).
- Gasol would be a great offensive force to pair with Nene in the post.
- He's the "pick-and-pop 4" that John Wall has been coveting. Probably.
- If he doesn't work out, he's gone next year (or is an expiring deal). If he does work out, you'd love to re-sign him next year.
Why Pau Gasol should do it
- By joining the Wizards, he would be on a team with more upside and a more well-defined core than the Lakers for this season (and potentially the future, depending on what happens in 2014 free agency and the draft).
- His contract includes a 15 percent trade kicker, so he's gonna make even more of that paper.
- The Spanish culture and cuisine in Washington, D.C. is the best of potentially any city in the United States. There are more tapas restaurants per capita in this city than probably even in Barcelona.
- The trip between D.C. and Madrid is 7-10 hours. From L.A., it's like 1,000 at least.
- Shouldn't Jose Andres's presence as the food and booze baron of this town be enough? THE MAN IS A GENIUS WITH PORK.
I think I've made my case. Sound off in the comments, and let me know what you think. And if, by chance, you know Jose Andres, tell him to get on board the Wizards bandwagon so he can help pitch to Pau.
H/T Wiz Fan @LeeStuck for working out this half-baked idea with me.