Wizards should become TRADERS with the long term in mind

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With 51 games played in the season and 31 left to go, the commentary on the Wizards has been focused on whether they can sneak into the playoffs or not. I ask: "does it matter"?

Sure the players want it, sure I would like to see them in the playoffs... but even if they sneak into the late seeds ... this squad as currently built, will not make it far. This season, which had the opportunity, to show growth and make Washington an attractive destination for KD has been an abject failure. The defensive ability of this squad is a shadow of the former 2 years, which is the most surprising to me. This team lost Paul Pierce, not a defensive stalwart, and replaced him with Jared Dudley, Alan Andersen and Gary Neal. On a defensive standpoint, I would call that a push. There is no reason why all our core players, Wall, Beal, Porter, Gortat should become defensively weak. If we played defense we would have shown that incremental progress and have a much better shot at landing KD.

We need to make a change, and not with this season in mind... we need to make it for the long term - with or without KD. I would say a bold stroke is in order and here is the setup:

1) The Environment: There is turmoil in many parts of the league. The Hawks are contemplating blowing up ... they don't want to pay Horford big money. Jeff Teague and Dennis Schroder don't co-exist well. The Bulls are disenfranchised with Joakim Noah who doesn't fit in the Hoiberg's system. Dwight Howard and the Rockets are souring. Blake Griffin, once untouchable, has come down to earth and is in play.

2) The Rules: A collection of superstars and all stars win championships. We have 1 in John Wall, and that's it. Imagine what our record would be without John Wall? If there is no progress in the next 2 seasons, how long will John Wall's patience last? He wants to win. He does not want to hear boos when he is shooting free throws at the Verizon Center from opposing fans. We need to be a winning club and to do so we need more all stars.

3) The Approach: Incremental, opportunistic asset collection through trades with a 2-3 time year horizon in mind. The other 2 methods Draft and Free Agency won't work. Why? because building through the draft is slow and fits the Knicks, Lakers and the Sixers who are stripped down and asset poor. The draft doesn't work well with the purgatory franchises, Hornets, Kings, Bucks and sadly, us. Free Agency works if we have shown we can win. We haven't so we are not an attractive enough destination yet. The only caveat is KD because we are his hometown. For all the other attractive free agents, they will want an arm and an leg in cap space and even then they might not even bother considering us.

That leaves 1 approach out of purgatory ... and good news! we have assets! Besides John Wall, everyone on this team including our first round draft picks should be used in trading. While Beal is someone I would not like to trade, for the right incremental asset upgrade we should pull the trigger. Obviously the key words are incremental and upgrade. This is the type of asset collection that Danny Ainge did while waiting for their Big 3 to come to fruition. This is what Daryl Morey excels in doing. TRADES are our only route out of basketball purgatory in the medium term horizon.

What about KD? I am not advocating for killing our cap space right now. The KD answer should come in the next 5 months. However, let's say he doesn't come. Then what? Notice the approach, 2-3 year time horizon, and the incremental approach. Obviously this is not without risks but to escape purgatory, some risk taking is absolutely required.

What I am really advocating for is a mindset change. Change the mindset from being minimalistic and conservative to more active and dynamic TRADERS with appropriate risk in mind. It's not about this season or the next, it's about getting to the next stage, where we truly ARE an attractive free agent destination.

PS: This post is about the last paragraph. The obvious next question is "do we have the right front office to pull good trades off"? I will leave that to the BF crowd to debate.

This represents the view of the user who wrote the FanPost, and not the entire Bullets Forever community. We're a place of many opinions, not just one.