Trade Finder: Washington Wizards

wizards trade

The Washington Wizards need a trade. A couple weeks ago I wrote about What’s Next for the Washington Wizards. Low and behold, reports came out today that nobody is untouchable, not even John Wall or Bradley Beal. I mentioned the idea of the Wizards moving one, or more, pieces of their big three. Obviously, nothing has happened yet so I wanted to take a look at potential deals they can make. Previously I wrote about trades the Charlotte Hornets would make to resign Kemba Walker and avoid a rebuild (view here), but the Wizards need to make a trade to start a rebuild, not avoid one.

Trade #1

Wizards Recieve: Ryan Anderson, Josh Jackson, First Round Pick (Top 7 protected until 2020)

Suns Recieve: John Wall, Jason Smith

Despite his talent, John Wall will be extremely difficult to trade because of his massive contract extension that kicks in next year. Next year, Wall will be getting paid over $37 million dollars, which is an obvious overpay. That’s why the best landing spot for him would be Pheonix. First of all the Suns desperately need a point guard. Secondly, the Suns aren’t known to attract free agents, so their best chance to land a star is trading for one when their value is low. They built their roster around youth, so the majority of their players are on rookie contracts. This gives them plenty of cap room to absorb Wall’s massive contract. Additionally, they would be able to offload Anderson’s $15 million guaranteed contract, giving them plenty of financial flexibility.

For the Wizards this is a trade from a position of almost no power. Wall will be even harder to trade next season when teams have to match his $37 million deal. This is most likely the best trade they would get. Anderson’s contract expires after next season, so that would be a huge financial incentive to make the trade. Besides that, the Suns haven’t used Jackson much despite his insane potential. As the 4th overall pick last season he has shown plenty of flashes that suggest he could be a two-way star. The first round pick could also be very valuable. It would probably be protected this year as the team, even with Wall, is projected to be one of the worst teams in the league. If the protections are only for one season there’s a good chance the pick could convert into the 9-16 area.

Drawbacks of this trade still exist. For Pheonix, they would have to pay Devin Booker $33 million, pay Wall nearly $47 million, and sign DeAndre Ayton to a rookie extension in 2022. The salary cap has been rising steadily, but that will still be a lot of money for 3 players. For Washington, the drawback is losing your franchise player for two unknowns. While Jackson has star potential, he could also become just a role player. The pick could end up landing them a future star or they might draft a bust. Although there are risks if Washington decides to rebuild this is the way to go.

Trade #2

Wizards Recieve: Solomon Hill, Julius Randle, 2019 First Round Pick

Pelicans Recieve: Bradley Beal

The Pelicans desperately need a second option on the perimeter. E’twaun Moore has played great and is extremely underrated, but has little to no creation ability. Giving Jrue Holiday some help on the perimeter would benefit this team immensely. The Pelicans are currently one of the worst three-point shooting teams, so adding a deadeye shooter like Beal would bolster their offense. Additionally, with improved perimeter play around Anthony Davis, he will have an easier time dominating down low. Beal would make the Pelicans offense nearly unstoppable and allow them to compete for the top of the West.

The Wizards would have to really like Julius Randle to make this trade. There is no reason not to, he plays extremely hard which is something the Wizards need. Entering his 5th season Randle has improved his game significantly. He is now averaging 17 and 8 along with good defense in only 25 minutes a game. Randle has also shown signs of being able to shoot the three but hasn’t done it consistently. The Wizards would be able to resign Randle this offseason and add youth with the first round pick. Additionally, Hill’s expiring contract gives the team much needed financial relief.

I truly believe both sides would benefit from this trade. The Pelicans would add a third star and create an elite backcourt. If the Wizards agreed to this trade they would receive a young player with plenty of energy and decent potential in addition to a first round pick and cap relief. It’s not perfect for the Wizards, but they aren’t in a strong negotiating position to demand too much from any team.

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