Despite what people think, the Washington Wizards are only a couple trades away from becoming one of the top teams in the league.
Now, I know that is a hard statement to believe seeing as they are 6-22 and are 23rd or worse in the league in points per game, rebounds per game, assists per game, and points allowed; but after spending some time with the ESPN NBA Trade Machine, I have figured it out.
1. Four-way trade with the Wizards, Thunder, Heat, and Kings.
Why the Wizards should do it: As you can see, ESPN projects a 29 win improvement for Washington with this trade, and if they pulled it off here is why. Andray Blatche is a cancer on the team. With him in the locker room, players hustle less, play worse defense, and receive far more boos at home. Unloading him along with Rashard Lewis’ bloated contract and the cotton-soft Ronny Turiaf will make the Wizards a more hardened team. Losing Kevin Seraphin will be a blow for the team, but sometimes you have to spend money to make money. Not only do they unload those guys, but taking in the leagues best scorer, Kevin Durant, a top-10 player, Dwayne Wade, and the best big man in California, DeMarcus Cousins, make Washington the most talented team in the league. Imagine a starting lineup with those three along with one of the best point guards in the NBA, John Wall, and Slam Dunk Champion* JaVale McGee. Tell me that isn’t a championship squad, especially with a bench full of talented scorers like Nick Young and Jordan Crawford.
*-I refuse to acknowledge Blake Griffin as the champion, his dunks were fourth best in the competition.
2. Four-way trade with the Wizards, Kings, Thunder, and Hornets
Why the Wizards should do it: As in the prior trade, Washington would unload Lewis, Turiaf, and Blatche while holding onto building blocks like Jan Vesely and Shelvin Mack. This trade also allows the Wizards to go after ultra-cheap Eric Gordon, and avoid shedding more contracts like Seraphin to land an expensive guy in Wade. While this team is only projected to improve by 20 wins, that would still be enough to land in the playoffs, where Washington could go on the road and upset some higher ranked, less talented teams. Even if they didn’t win a championship this season, with the cap space available, and plethora of young talent, the Wizards could be this decade’s Bulls.