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Thought exercise: Would you undo the Andrew Nicholson trade to get Jarrett Allen?

New Orleans Pelicans v Brooklyn Nets Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

It’s been over a year now since the Wizards traded Andrew Nicholson, Marcus Thornton, and their 2017 first round pick to the Brooklyn Nets for Bojan Bogdanovic and Chris McCullough. When the trade went down, it felt like paying $6 for a water bottle at an amusement park: You know it’s a ripoff, but you know every park does it and it’s better than dying of thirst. Nicholson clearly wasn’t an NBA player anymore and it takes a first round pick to offload the salary he had left on his four-year, $26 million deal.

In the short-term, the Wizards got a nice boost out of the trade. Bogdanovic exceeded expectations and gave the bench the boost they needed to survive the challenging, road-heavy end to the season. He also came up big in Games 5 and 6 of their series with Atlanta, and shouldered a bigger load against the Celtics thanks to Kelly Oubre’s suspension and underwhelming performance in the series.

Since then, however, the trade has started to look a lot worse for Washington. Not so much because of Bogdanovic (even though he played very well in Indiana this season) but because of the first round pick they sent to Brooklyn. The Nets took Jarrett Allen with the pick and he started 31 games with the team as a rookie. He played like the kind of “athletic big man” John Wall said the team needed at the end of the season:

Worse yet, you can at least make the argument Allen was more productive as a rookie than either of the Wizards’ main big men this season. Granted, there are some caveats with these numbers, but the fact that you can make an argument already is not a great sign:

Missing out on Allen really stings because as we discussed earlier, it will not be easy for the Wizards to find a productive, athletic big man this summer. The Wizards do have a better pick this season than they did last season, but there aren’t many quality bigs available outside of the top ten, and they’ll be one year behind Allen in terms of adjusting to the league.

With all that in mind, here’s a hypothetical to consider: If you had the chance to undo the Andrew Nicholson trade so the Wizards could draft Jarrett Allen, would you do it? The catch is, you have to keep Nicholson for the duration of his deal. No trades, no stretching, no bailouts. You effectively have to treat Allen like he’s getting paid his rookie salary AND Nicholson’s.

Keep these ramifications in mind as well before you vote:

  • If you don’t do the trade, the Wizards don’t get Bogdanovic, which means they either get upset by Atlanta in the first round or they’re much less competitive against Boston.
  • Keeping Nicholson would have made it more difficult to sign Mike Scott and even if they did, it would have made it even more difficult to keep him this summer. It also means there’s one less roster spot for the Wizards to sign mid-season acquisitions like Ty Lawson.
  • Adding a young center to take minutes away from Gortat and Mahinmi could have made an already contentious locker room that much more on edge with one another.


Would you take back Andrew Nicholson to have Jarrett Allen?

This poll is closed

  • 69%
    (789 votes)
  • 30%
    (346 votes)
1135 votes total Vote Now