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Deal of the Day: Can the Wizards take advantage of the Pelicans’ plethora of draft picks?

Washington restocks the cupboard by trading the No. 9 pick in today’s scenario.

NBA: Washington Wizards at New Orleans Pelicans Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Deal has run its course. What started in September as a mental health exercise, a daily routine in required imagination, ends today.

I had a piece for a Robert Covington trade idea for yesterday which is why there was not piece for yesterday ....

However, that was axed due to a trade rumor that would send him to the Portland Trail Blazers for Trevor Ariza. (Thanks real world!)

Quick thank you again the Editors of Bullets Forever for providing the space to talk alternate timelines, err, fictional trades. Same Diff.

Biggest thank you to readers who made Deal of the Day the most viewed stories on Bullets Forever since it began running in late September. I was blown away by your responses both in the comments and in my inbox. I could never have guessed that the series would regularly racked up 400+ votes and thousands of page views per scenario. Cool Cool Cool.

Sorry you won’t get to see my Jrue Holiday to the Nuggets three-team trade. We gave up 9 but landed 22, Will Barton, Monte Morris and Bol Bol. It was gorgeous. SIGH.

NEVER MIND, Jrue just got traded too. There’s too much uncertainty to include a bunch of players at this stage. The Deal has to improvise. I’ll pull a quote from the original Pels trade to get us started.

The Pelicans now control picks 13, 24, 39, 42 and 60 in this draft. That screams “Trade Up!” to me.

So let’s do this thing. In today’s scenario:

The New Orleans Pelicans trade picks 13, 24, 60 and Josh Hart to the Washington Wizards for pick 9 and Jerome Robinson.

Why do the Pelicans do the deal?

Nola scuttlebutt says they are hunting for a PG not named Ball to add to their young group. This move would put them in position for Killian Hayes, Tyrese Haliburton or Kira Lewis. There’s still some upside around Robinson which they’ll gladly refine knowing they weren’t going to extend Hart anyway.

Why do the Wizards do the deal?

In this scenario the Wizards have ascertained that their guy won’t be there to take with the ninth pick. The Front Office casts a wide net. The good news is that several teams are targeting Top 10 picks. The Spurs, Celtics, Pelicans and T-Wolves are all in this category.

The bad news is that Chicago, Atlanta and Detroit have all been mentioned as evaluating trade down opportunities. While this deal works for Washington, it wouldn’t take much sweetener to make it worth while for the No. 6 or No. 7 picks either.

Josh Hart provides a young vet wing who is willing to stick his nose in defensively. Acquiring him means using the MLE on a wing stopper isn’t a MUST.

At No. 13 in my updated mock draft Washington selects F Saddiq Bey over Aaron Nesmith and Precious Achiuwa. Precious’ size, 6’8, is a bummer. That he’s still going for a combo forward style is too. He’s less of a candidate for the small ball 5 many teams envisioned. There’s just too much overlap with Rui Hachimura, including weaknesses, to support picking him.

Just realized that’s two Villanova Wildcats with ties to the DMV incoming. ‘Nova is my late father’s alma mater so we’re not fighting it.

At No. 24 its worth considering whether they should combo with 37 and move up into the teens. If not, the Wizards select point guard Cole Anthony over Tre Jones. Was hoping Malachi Flynn would slip but he went 23 to Utah. In the end I couldn’t turn down Anthony’s mix of scoring, athleticism and competitiveness. I could be talked into Jones as DPOY and ACC POY who is supposedly never been healthier following hip surgery earlier this year.

At No. 37 the Wizards have to choose between younger center depth in Isaiah Stewart or a more ready made prospect in Xavier Tillman. I think Tommy would go with Stewart. He doesn’t turn 20 until May of 2021. 6’9 with 7’4 wingspan and rim runs like a beast. Observers at UW practices report he can shoot it, just wasn’t asked to last season.

I’ve repeatedly said the Wizards won’t have 3 rookies on the roster. That could change given that two-way players are a go for this season, just limited to 50 games on the active roster.

Getting No. 60 lets Wizards General Manager Tommy Sheppard close his interviews with folksy talk about how no one is insignificant. Josh Hall would be a two-way candidate. I had the Pels taking Justinian Jessup as a Aussie stash. Makes sense for the Wizards too.

Wizards still have the MLE and the BAE (vet interior defender):

  • John Wall - Ish Smith - Cole Anthony
  • Bradley Beal - Troy Brown Jr. - Garrison Mathews (RFA)
  • Isaac Bonga - Josh Hart - Saddiq Bey
  • Rui Hachimura - Davis Bertans (UFA)
  • Thomas Bryant - Moritz Wagner - Isaiah Stewart - Anzejs Pasecniks (camp guarantee)


Trade #9 for 13, 24 and Hart?

This poll is closed

  • 55%
    Yes, this is the one. Its perfect.
    (141 votes)
  • 32%
    Nah, just pick BPA at 9.
    (83 votes)
  • 12%
    Please tell me this isn’t the end. Please.
    (32 votes)
256 votes total Vote Now

And that’s a wrap! I look forward to contributing to Bullets Forever in the future!

But in the meantime, I’ll catch you in the comments!