The Washington Wizards’ offseason is in full swing. While we wait on whether they will keep Scott Brooks as their head coach for next season or not, it’s also interesting to hear about trade rumors, even if such moves probably won’t happen until July.
After the Wizards’ season ended last week in the first round of the playoffs, General Manager Tommy Sheppard stressed in a postseason news conference that Washington will not be a “run it back” kind of team. He also stressed that he was ready to take bigger risks if necessary to take the team forward.
Washington will not be a big factor in free agency this summer. They have already committed $121 million in payroll so the only way for them to make big moves is by making trades for other stars, striking gold with their draft selections and seeing incremental improvements from their returning players. Today, we’ll talk about the first category.
Apparently, Dallas Mavericks center Kristaps Porzingis is frustrated about his situation with the Dallas Mavericks, in part because the spotlight has been increasingly on point guard Luka Doncic. He averaged 20.1 points and 8.9 rebounds per game last season and would only be 26 next season, but he’s also missed many games due to injury. The injuries obviously are a big reason why that spotlight hasn’t been on him as much, though Doncic is clearly deserving of it too.
Where do the Wizards fall into this? According to Chris Crouse of FortyEightMinutes, the team has monitored Porzingis’ situation this past season. And they are interested in adding a third star to the backcourt of Bradley Beal and Russell Westbrook. Adding a star post player makes sense because that’s the area where they are falling short. Now, how would such a deal look if the Wizards were able to get Porzingis from the Mavericks?
As Crouse noted, given Porzingis’ cap hit of $31.65 million next season (his deal goes through the 2022-23 season), the Wizards will have to trade some of their players on larger contracts. For example, Davis Bertans ($16 million next season) would almost definitely have to be part of it. But they would likely have to trade away some other young players like Deni Avdija ($4.6 million) and Thomas Bryant ($8.6 million) to get this through the ESPN Trade Machine. The Wizards may even have to add a future draft pick, like the 15th overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft.
The players whom Washington does not want to trade under any circumstances are Beal, Westbrook and Rui Hachimura, according to Crouse’s piece. I wouldn’t trade Daniel Gafford either, simply because he’s a fan favorite ... but I digress.
Anyway, would you like to see Porzingis on the Wizards, even if it meant that they trade Bertans and some combination of Avdija, Bryant, Chandler Hutchison and/or a draft pick? Let us know in the comments below.