I’ve spent the last couple of months debating with myself whether the Wizards should draft Anthony Black or Cason Wallace to finally conclude that we might better off drafting Taylor Hendricks (or J Walker if available).
The reason for writing this article is that if we draft Hendricks or Walker, another interesting possibility might open up for the Wizards. The Mavs are desperate for a defensive big man because they finished 23rd in defensive efficiency last season. Both Hendricks or Walker are dream scenarios for the Mavs, however if the Wizards draft whoever is available of the two at 8, the Mavs will be open to trading their 10th pick.
In such case, I think the following sequence of events is a realistic scenario:
1. Wizards draft Hendricks or Walker (whoever is available)
2. Wizards trade Bradley Beal (43m) to Mavs.
3. Mavs trade Kleber (11m)/Bertans (16m)/T. Hardaway Jr (19.6m), 10th pick and one of Josh Green/Jaden Hardy to Wizards.
4. The Wizards draft Black or Wallace (whoever is available) with the 10th pick.
5. Wizards don’t offer any money to Porzingis/Kuzma who are likely to opt out. Rebuilding starts.
Why Dallas makes the trade:
· Doncic and Irving are just bad chemistry, as shown in the second half of the season. They both need the ball to be efficient and Irving, while a fantastic player when focused, can be a nightmare to deal with.
· Bradley Beal is not a superstar but is a perfect complement to Doncic. Beal had his most efficient seasons playing alongside J.Wall and he could benefit from playing alongside the best point guard in the NBA.
· Mavs get rid of overpaid non-factors Kleber/Bertans/T. Hardaway Jr, which gives them flexibility to go after free agents in the summer.
· Beal is one year younger and has 4 years left in his contract. Irving is older and probably demanding a 5 year max or close to max deal.
Why Wizards makes the trade:
· Beal/Porzingis/Kuzma the Wizards are, even with improvements around the edges of the team, not close to being a 50 win team or a top 4 team in the East. Rebuilding is necessary.
· Wizards would have an exciting young core to build on:
Black or Wallace, Kispert, Green or Hardy, D. Avdija, Wallace or Hendricks and Gafford
· Wizards automatically become one of the worst teams in the NBA, which makes it more likely for them to keep their 2024 pick (Top 12 protected), their 2025 pick (Top 10 protected) and their 2026 pick (top 8 proctected). It’s quite possible Wizards land Top 5 picks the next 2 seasons.
· Cap flexibility to resign our young players and sign free agents: Kleber/Bertans/T. Hardaway Jr (100 million remaining on contracts), Beal (207m)
This trade could play out in many different ways and be extended to other players to make it happen. For example, I’m thinking the Mavs would love to have Gafford for his rim protection and for his excellent finishing around the rim which makes him the perfect pick and roll partner for Doncic.
Delon Wright defense would also interest the Mavs. Both Gafford/Wright can be traded away for another couple first round picks in the 15-30 range.
Let me know what you thoughts are and whether you agree with me that Dallas is the perfect team to trade with to start a rebuild.