As we've discussed before, there isn't much reason to think the Wizards will be a major player at next week's NBA trade deadline. They don't have many trade chips, and they can't afford to take on much salary beyond this season.
That said, they would be silly not to pick up the phone and initiate some conversations to gauge what the market is like, and that's just what they're doing according to Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders:
The Wizards have not gotten a lot of traction in talks, with sources saying they feel like the real conversations will take place next week as the deadline gets closer. However, they are open for a discussion and pulling the trigger on a deal is something they would do.
The Wizards are looking for help at the power forward spot and a stretch-four type player is very appealing.
It's important to note these are all just inquiries. It's anyone guess if talks went anywhere after that, but let's take a look at each player and the viability of a trade.
The good news and the bad news with Anderson is that he's on an expiring deal. Washington could make a deal for Anderson without sacrificing any of their flexibility for next summer. But that also means the Anderson will be an unrestricted free agent, which means they could sacrifice a young asset -- like a future draft pick or Kelly Oubre -- for someone that may not fit into their long-term plans.
Still, the scariest scenario could wind up being what happens if the Wizards trade for Anderson and decide to keep him. Anderson will be in high demand, and Washington could trick themselves into overpaying him to make sure they don't lose him for nothing.
Once you get past those obstacles, Washington still has to think long and hard how much he would actually help. Certainly, he would help Washington's 16th-ranked offense a bit with his scoring ability, but he's not going to make the Wizards' 21st-ranked defense much better, especially if he's taking Jared Dudley's minutes.
Like Anderson, Booker is on a deal that expires at the end of the season, so the Wizards don't have to worry about him messing up their plans. He also has familiarity with the team from the time he spent there, so he would be able to acclimate to Washington faster than the other trade targets.
Booker would give the Wizards an athletic presence on the glass that they've lacked all season, and has more mobility on the perimeter than someone like Drew Gooden or Kris Humphries. Still, it's important to remember Booker biggest defensive contributions will come on the glass. He won't be a defensive liability out on the floor, but he's not a guy who can walk on the floor and instantly make a team better on that end.
Offensively, Booker has struggled this season. He's averaging career lows in Player Efficiency Rating, field goal percentage, free throw rate, and points per 36 minutes. Pairing Booker with John Wall again would help those numbers, but the Wizards aren't going to get the same guy they remember from 2014.
The other thing that could make a Booker trade problematic is Utah is still in the thick of the Western Conference playoff hunt. If the Wizards want him, they're probably going to have to give Utah something who can help them right away.
Tucker is on the books for $5.3 million next season, so he would cut into Washington's cap space next season, but not enough to keep them from having enough room to sign someone to a max deal this summer.
Of the three players listed, Tucker is the best defender of the group, but also brings the least to the table offensively. Plus, he turns 31 in May. The John Wall effect can help mask his some of his offensive decline this season, but it won't change that he's not quite as effective on the defensive end as he's been in previous seasons.
It won't be easy for the Wizards to acquire Tucker, because everyone know the Suns will be trying to sell off whoever they can before the deadline to help with their rebuild. Still, for how little he makes until 2017, it doesn't hurt to gauge what the Suns are looking for and seeing if there's a chance to make a deal.