Quinton Mayo, the host of BetMGM Tonight and The Quinton Mayo Show, reported in his Substack newsletter that the Wizards are really high on Purdue guard Jaden Ivey. Ivey is projected on most draft boards to be going 4th overall to Sacramento and the Wizards have reportedly had conversations with the Kings about what a possible track package might look like.
Mayo joined me on the Bleav in Wizards podcast to go into further detail about the reporting and guesstimated there’s like a 40% likelihood of the teams being able to work out the deal. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski confirmed the reporting by saying the Wizards, Knicks, Pistons, and Pacers have all expressed interest in trading up with the Kings.
Additionally, Mayo added that the Wizards are interested in Oklahoma City guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, San Antonio’s Dejounte Murray, and Indiana’s Malcolm Brogdon. On the podcast, we broke down how realistic each of those options really is and included Utah guard Mike Conley as well.
We both felt that Brogdon seems like the most realistic option but Gilgeous-Alexander represents the biggest “swing” of the group. As Mayo mentioned in his newsletter, Tommy Sheppard has said several times that he’s not going to be afraid to make big moves. Pulling off trades for any of these players would represent a pretty big move.
The Wizards, who are looking to win now, around guard Bradley Beal have been consistent about drafting players who were actually productive this past season. Ivey was certainly productive but Sheppard’s comments about not expecting to see a rookie point guard starting next season would make me question how all-in they’re willing to go for him. If you sell the farm to acquire someone like Ivey, you don’t seem likely to leave him on the bench.
Mayo also mentioned having a conversation with Bradley Beal about Arizona wing Bennedict Mathurin and Beal being a fan of Mathurin’s game. Mathurin seems poised to contribute right out of the gate but also likely has plenty of room to grow and develop. Kentucky guard Shaedon Sharpe also came up, with Mayo saying his lack of playing time this past season would likely give the Wizards pause.
I’m clearly biased but I thought it was a really insightful conversation. We got into things like “smokescreens” and how much stuff teams are intentionally willing to leak this time of year versus how much stock we should take in their reported interest levels. If you’re at all curious about how to sift through certain information, I think you would enjoy the discussion.