Steven Bagell of SportsEthos and the Bird Rights podcast is hosting a mock trade deadline where one person acts as the general manager for each NBA team. I was selected to represent the Wizards throughout the exercise.
In a previous article, I detailed my initial trade of Kyle Kuzma and Vernon Carey Jr. to the Sacramento Kings for Keegan Murray and Davion Mitchell. In order to add a few additional pieces, that trade was expanded to bring in the Detroit Pistons. I explained the revised trade in more detail on yesterday’s Bleav in Wizards podcast.
The updated details of the trade are:
Kings receive: Kyle Kuzma, Cory Joseph, Hamidou Diallo
Pistons receive: Will Barton, Alex Len, Washington’s 2025 second-round pick, Sacramento’s 2028 second-round pick
Wizards receive: Keegan Murray, Davion Mitchell, Alec Burks, Matthew Dellavedova
Burks is currently averaging 13.5 points, 3.1 rebounds, and 2.2 assists. He’s currently shooting 45.5% from the field and 44.6% from three. He would be a huge bench upgrade for the Wizards. Essentially, I was able to leverage another deal where the Pistons had to move someone to free up a roster spot. And all it cost us was Will Barton and a second-round pick.
To be able to jump into this other deal, Vernon Carey Jr. was removed from the original deal and I had to take back Dellavedova as well. This means I have to create two roster spots. Carey Jr. was an obvious casualty. The other choice comes down to whether to cut Anthony Gill or Isaiah Todd.
In real life, they would almost certainly keep Gill because of veteran leadership or whatever. You could maybe make the argument they wouldn’t want to admit failure on another draft pick so early by cutting Todd. Personally, as the President of the Kuzma and Todd Fan Clubs, getting rid of both in my first trade deadline as fake General Manager would probably kill me.
I think Taj Gibson provides enough grit and veteran savvy to make Gill expendable. In the case of two players who don’t really move the needle much on the court, I’d rather keep the younger guy who at least has a theoretical chance to get better. Based on that line of thinking, I kept Isaiah Todd. We will look to bring Gill back as an assistant coach in the event that no other team picks him up. It feels like the Wizards-iest thing to do.
Dellavedova isn’t an NBA-caliber player at this point in his basketball life so we waived him as well. We then converted Jordan Goodwin from a two-way contract and promoted Jules Bernard in his place. Bernard, a 6-7 wing from UCLA, is coming off a 27-point and 10-rebound performance.
Trevion Williams, a 6-9 big man from Purdue, was added as the other two-way. Makur Maker was under consideration but given the Wizards’ affinity for undersized but tough big men like Johnathan Williams and Jordan Bell, Williams seemed like the more likely candidate at this stage of their respective development. Carey Jr. was also signed to the Capital City Go-Go so he can resume dominating the G League.
Ultimately, I couldn’t find a good move for Rui Hachimura that returned any real value. Because I had already moved Kuzma and replaced him with a rookie forward it was easier to justify keeping Hachimura as forward insurance.
The Wizards’ depth chart at the end of my exercise looks something like this:
PG: Monte Morris, Delon Wright, Davion Mitchell, Jordan Goodwin
SG: Bradley Beal, Alec Burks, Corey Kispert
SF: Keegan Murray, Deni Avdija, Jules Bernard (two-way)
PF: Kristaps Porzingis, Rui Hachimura, Isaiah Todd
C: Daniel Gafford, Taj Gibson, Trevion Williams (two-way)
Let us know in the comments what you think of the new (mock) roster!