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The Wizards are early winners in their trade deadline deal for Daniel Gafford because of their improved defense and recrord

So far, it looks like the Washington Wizards’ trade deadline deal that brought Gafford is paying off, especially on defense. Not so much for the other sides.

New Orleans Pelicans v Washington Wizards
Daniel Gafford: the shot blocking machine!
Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

The Washington Wizards’ trade deadline deal that sent Daniel Gafford and Chandler Hutchison from the Chicago Bulls to the nation’s capital in exchange for Troy Brown and Moritz Wagner never seemed like a big deal at the time. Fans were not happy with the team’s performance and it seemed like an afterthought.

For Washington, at least, things have changed for the better. They have gone 8-6 since the trade deadline. Gafford in particular is averaging 11.1 points in just 17 minutes per game for them. He has been an impact player — on the defensive end — for the Wizards in recent games! Hutchison is averaging 5.8 points per game and an individual defensive rating of 103.

Washington’s defensive rating? It’s 113.2 overall this season and 22nd in the league. But since Mar. 25, their defensive rating was 108.1 with Gafford playing.

And when Gafford is playing? It’s 106.2! In other words, their defense is more like the ... fifth best in the NBA since the trade deadline — including the games when Gafford didn’t play for a six-game stretch due to an ankle sprain.

As for the now-former Wizards, they haven’t done so well. Brown is averaging 5.8 points per game for Chicago. And in Wagner’s case, he was traded to the Boston Celtics from the Bulls and waived last Friday so they could bring in Jabari Parker.

There hasn’t been too much to write home about this season due to the win and loss record. But while it’s still a little early, I think most of you would agree that last month’s trade appears to be a win and a steal for the Wizards so far.