John Wall is obviously frustrated with how the 2017-18 NBA season ended for the Washington Wizards. Despite the explosive backcourt performance from Wall and Bradley Beal, the Wizards still suffered a first-round elimination from the hands of Eastern Conference No. 1 seed Toronto Raptors. In an exit interview, the 27-year-old point guard mentioned the things the Wizards should address in the upcoming offseason.
“Just got to add some pieces,” Wall said, via Kyle Boone of CBS Sports. “A lot, to be honest. There’s a lot that we can use… I think it’s pretty obvious. I don’t need to point it out. I think the way the league is going, you need athletic bigs, you need scoring off the bench, you need all of those types of things. We don’t really have an athletic big. I mean, Ian [Mahinmi] is older. [Marcin Gortat] is older. They’re not athletic guys, but they do the little things that permit their game to help as much as possible.”
The Wizards definitely need to make a huge upgrade to their roster if they want to reach a higher level next season. With John Wall and Bradley Beal anchoring the backcourt, the Wizards should upgrade their frontcourt by targeting an athletic big. Though Washington isn’t an attractive destination for superstar free agents, a previous Inquisitr article suggested that Wall may convince New Orleans Pelicans superstar DeMarcus Cousins to sign with the Wizards.
— CBS Sports NBA (@CBSSportsNBA) April 28, 2018
John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins were former Kentucky teammates who dreamt of playing together in the NBA. However, being buried deep in the luxury tax hell, the Wizards aren’t in a position to give Cousins a maximum contract. Even if both sides agree to a sign-and-trade deal, it remains questionable if Washington has enough assets that can convince the Pelicans to engage in a trade discussion.
If they fail to acquire Cousins, Ryan Blackburn of SB Nation’s Denver Stiffs suggested that the Wizards should contact the Denver Nuggets. As Blackburn noted, the Nuggets have a plethora of big men that would interest the Wizards. These include Mason Plumlee, Kenneth Faried, and Trey Lyles.
Plumlee only served as Nikola Jokic’s backup in his first full season with the Nuggets. But when given enough playing time, he proved his capability to become a scoring threat under the basket and a quality rim protector. In 74 games this season, Plumlee averaged 7.1 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 1.1 blocks while shooting 60.1 percent from the field.
Meanwhile, Kenneth Faried has rarely entered the court since Paul Millsap signed with the Nuggets. By joining a new team, Faried could return to his All-Star form. He may not be an immediate starter in Washington, but his presence will tremendously boost the Wizards’ second unit.
Of all the three, Trey Lyles could be the best option for the Wizards. Lyles is an athletic big who can bring a combination of floor spacing and rebounding to the Wizards. However, to acquire him the Nuggets, the Wizards will be needing to give up the likes of Otto Porter Jr.