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Deal of the Day: Wizards trade the ninth pick to the Timberwolves

Washington Shuffles Picks, Landing #17, #27 and #32 in a deal with Minnesota.

NBA: Minnesota Timberwolves at Washington Wizards Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Earlier this week, I finished my most recent mock draft. Based on this I’d say we keep it. The Washington Wizards land USC center Onyeka Okongwu at #9, Michigan State point guard Cassius Winston at #37 and then buy #51 from the Warriors to take Mississippi State forward Reggie Perry. Even the first two are enough to make me happy. That’s a nice balance of immediate impact and long term developmental skills.

So why mess with that? Because it’s what we do at The Deal, we transact. #DealNation

This one is going to need some explaining. As you notice by checking the mock link, Minnesota traded down to #3 allowing Charlotte to move up to #1 to select James Wiseman. In so doing the T-Wolves picked up Charlotte’s second round pick, #32, among other assets. Minnesota already had the #33 pick.

Minnesota then packages #17, #32, #33 and Josh Okogie (PPA 77) to the Wizards for #9 and Admiral Schofield. That’s not that hard to follow. But wait there’s more.

Washington packages #33 and #37 to the Knicks for #27.

When the dust settles the Wizards will have turned #9, #37 and Admiral Schofield into #17, #27, #32 and Josh Okogie. Whew. That’s a dodgeball court full of picks getting swapped.

Based on the same mock the picks are distributed as follows.

At 17 the Wizards select Villanova forward Saddiq Bey. Bey originally went to Dallas at 18.

At 27 they select Gonzaga forward Killian Tillie. Tillie originally went off the board to the Celtics at 30.

At 32 they select San Diego State point guard Malachi Flynn. Flynn actually went 27 to the Knicks originally but in this re-draft those other picks hold and Flynn slides.

[Note the image below shows only the draft picks from deals that directly affect the Wizards, not the entirety of the Hornets-Wolves deal.]

Why do the Timberwolves do the deal?

The Timberwolves and GM Gersson Rosas fight conventional wisdom tooth and nail, moving back from 1 then moving up from 17 to make two lottery picks, 3 (Deni Avdija) and 9 (Devin Vassell). Rosas includes athletic but limited wing Josh Okogie, receiving a versatile forward prospect in Schofield in exchange.

Avdija gives the Wolves some play making and distribution from the front court to counter the scoring-centered impact of D’Angelo Russell in the back court. The Wolves believe his shooting from Maccabi’s re-start games will translate. So why move up?

The Deal is contractually obligated to remind you that Rosas came up under Daryl Morey. With stars in hand it’s time to invest in the next most valuable piece to a winning team: long (or strong or both) wings who can cover ground, play good on and off ball defense and of course, hit the three.

Minnesota moves up to get the best mix of shooting and defending in Vassell. Okoro is the better defender. Nesmith the better shooter. DV is that sweet spot in between.

Why do the Wizards do the deal?

Like I said, if OO is there just take him. So in this version let’s assume KONG is unavailable. Tommy Sheppard goes ballistic. His guy was right there… then disappeared, he storms out. “I need a minute to cool off.” The team doesn’t have a minute. Assistant GM Brett Greenberg has to step in.

[Phone rings] T-Wolves want #9. Greenberg gets an agreement on the pick swap then tosses the Okogie for Schofield swap out as the dealbreaker… Minnesota agrees.

Moving back and still snagging a two-way wing is pretty exciting. If Bey can shoot right away then he’ll play right away. Figure out his position later. I doubt they drop this far but with Greenberg making the calls it’s possible because of the advanced draft-a-metrics involved.

[A slow clap begins from the doorway. It’s Sheppard. Others begin to clap with him even as they wonder exactly why anyone is clapping. He makes his way to Brett and fist bumps him.] “I knew you’d know exactly what to do. It reminds me of this wild night in Vilnius...” [Tommy trails off]

The Wizards now hold three picks in their preferred range of this draft, the late teens-early 30’s.

As for Bey, we know he’s a 6-8 multi-positional defender who shoots the lights out. He has some limitations laterally and won’t blow by anyone off the dribble. Still, he’s a solid complement to Rui Hachimura and Davis Bertans and is expected to play early. I’m told Bey attended Sidwell Friends school in the DMV. Cool.

Tillie is a highly skilled forward with more athleticism than you’d expect given his knack for missing time due to injury. The Wizards take him at 27 minimizing their risk but should he hit they have four years of salary control before a RFA year.

Flynn was originally projected to the Knicks at 27. His clutch game and winning/playmaker status falls into the laps at #32. Cassius Winston could also be a good pick here.

This also assumes that the Wizards aren’t going to rely on rookies to improve their defense. Okogie is going into his third year with 80 total starts under his belt. Played mostly shooting guard minutes with some small forward thrown in. His shooting is not good overall. There was an uptick in his corner three-point percentage and his free throw shooting in his second year. The Wizards must believe he can get to league average. Adding Okogie and Bey frees them up to use more of the MLE on an interior defender (Tristan Thompson). Okogie will be a RFA in 2021 with a $4 million qualifying offer. He makes $2.65 million next season.

Self Editor Note: I would probably love this even more if the Wizards could use 33 and 37 to get OKC’s pick at 25 and select Leandro Bolmaro. Yes, he’s a stash after re-upping with Barcelona but he’s our kind of stash as a Manu Ginobli 2.0. The Wizards would also like to stash one of these to help with the roster crunch.

If they add a center with the MLE and re-sign Bertans that's 15 roster spots, not counting AP’s camp guarantee, before considering fan favorite Garrison Mathews. I’d rather keep Garrison than Jerome Robinson but the front office out ranks me on this one. (And all of them.)

Wizards would still have the MLE and the BAE:

  • John Wall - Ish Smith - Malachi Flynn
  • Bradley Beal - Troy Brown Jr. - Jerome Robinson - Garrison Mathews (RFA)
  • Isaac Bonga - Josh Okogie - Saddiq Bey
  • Rui Hachimura - Davis Bertans (UFA) - Killian Tillie
  • Thomas Bryant - ______ - Moritz Wagner - Anzejs Pasecniks (camp guarantee)


Trade Down to Max Value?

This poll is closed

  • 42%
    Yes, wow, ok, I read it twice. Let’s do it.
    (73 votes)
  • 41%
    Nah, I didn’t want to read it twice so I just voted no.
    (71 votes)
  • 15%
    Can we trade Okogie for Landry Shamet?
    (27 votes)
171 votes total Vote Now

BTW, we never called out that we are now less than a month away from the 2020 NBA Draft. Reminder that this series will run through draft day. Still many-many permutations to vamp through.

Trade Resources

Want to request a trade target or send a challenge? Email me at Jheiser3 at and include your Bullets Forever screen name.