Say what you want about the DeMarcus Cousins trade, but it’s done. The question now shouldn’t be whether or not the Wizards should have made a more compelling offer, but how they can use ripple effects of the blockbuster move to further their own cause. Here are a few ways Washington might be able to improve the team as Sacramento and New Orleans move in new directions.
Make a trade for Terrence Jones
Now that the Pelicans’ frontcourt is stacked, they are reportedly looking to move Terrence Jones, according to Chris Haynes of ESPN. Over the last 15 games, Jones is averaging 14.1 points and 6.0 rebounds as he’s taken on a larger role in New Orleans. While he’s still struggling with his outside shot — he’s only shooting 25.3 percent from deep this season, though that has improved lately — he would still provide some much-needed help at the 4 spot for the rest of the season.
The one issue for the Wizards would be Jones is on an expiring deal. Washington would only have Non-Bird Rights on Jones, which means they can only offer him 120 percent of his salary from last season ($1 million) unless they sign him with cap space, which they don’t have.
Make a trade for Darren Collison
Now that Sacramento is in full rebuilding mode, they’ll probably listen to any offer on a veteran that nets them a future asset. Washington could explore offering a pick along with Trey Burke and Marcus Thornton’s expiring deals to get Collison, an experienced playmaker who can defend multiple positions.
Collison is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season, so there is a risk that he walks this summer. But unlike Jones, the Wizards would have full Bird rights on him, which would allow them to sign him to a new deal, even though they’re over the cap.
Make a trade for Ben McLemore
Now that Buddy Hield is cemented as the shooting guard of the future for the Kings, it would be worth exploring what they would want back in a deal for Ben McLemore. As Tony Xypteras of Sactown Royalty noted, he’s been playing very well lately. He’s averaging 12.8 points per game in February while shooting 51.2 percent from deep. If nothing else, he’d be a good backup for Bradley Beal for the rest of this season, and if he develops into anything more, the Wizards can match any offer he receives in restricted free agency.
Sign Langston Galloway
Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical is reporting the Kings will likely waive Galloway, who was included in the Cousins trade. If he clears waivers (which isn’t a given, considering he could help a few teams reach the salary floor), he could be an interesting addition. He wasn’t very good for the Pelicans this season, but he’d an improvement over most of the Wizards’ options behind Bradley Beal, and could stand to get a little bit of a bump from the John Wall Effect.
Sign Tyreke Evans
Given Evans’ history with the Kings, it wouldn’t be surprising to see both sides explore a buyout. If that happens, Evans might be an interesting rental for the rest of the season for Washington. He wouldn’t do much as a floor spacer, but he’d help with playmaking on the second unit that they could desperately use.