John Wall just hasn’t looked right this season. His knee problems just keep lingering. He missed two weeks earlier in the season due to the same knee and now will lose two months because of it. The Washington Wizards are in trouble. They were already underachieving and are currently 28-22 in the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference. Now, they have to survive for two months without their best player. They got off to a good start last night by beating the Oklahoma City Thunder at home. To survive the next two months, they will likely need to make a move before the trade deadline on February 8. Here are three trades that will help the Wizards.
Washington gets Evan Fournier and Nikola Vucevic, while Orlando gets Tomas Satoransky, Martin Gortat, Marcus Morris, and a second-round pick.
This trade is an aggressive win-now move that helps Washington survive without Wall, and once he comes back, it makes them dangerous in the playoffs. Vucevic gives Washington more offense up front and makes for a deadly pick-and-roll partner for Wall once he gets back. Fournier is a solid wing who can do a little bit of everything. Both of them give the Wizards more lineup flexibility.
The cost isn’t much either. Gortat is near the end of his career, and Vucevic is an upgrade. Satoransky is a nice young player, but Fournier makes him expendable. Morris has underwhelmed this year, but he is still young, and the Magic, who are rebuilding, will take a chance on him. Add in a second-round pick to sweeten the deal, and this is an excellent trade for the Wizards. Orlando would do it to further their tanking process, get an extra pick and shed some money.
Washington gets Derrick Favors and Rodney Hood, while Utah gets Tomas Satoransky, Martin Gortat, and a first-round pick.
This trade costs the Wizards a little more as losing a first-round pick is tough. It’s tough since they traded their first-round pick last year as well. However, the return is a good one. Favors is an upgrade up front. He brings defense, rebounding, and is a great roll guy to pair with Wall once he gets back. The concern with Favors is he is a free agent this summer, and the Wizards need to be confident they can re-sign him. Then there is Hood, a versatile swingman who brings the Wizards some more shooting. It allows them to play some small ball lineups with Hood, Bradley Beal, and Wall altogether once he is back.
Utah is not going to re-sign either of these players, so they are going to move him. They are also almost out of the playoff race and need to start preparing for next season. A first-round pick, a contract that expires next summer in Gortat, and a good young player in Satoransky is a good get for them.
Washington gets Joe Harris and Spencer Dinwiddie, while Brooklyn gets Tomas Satoransky, Chris McCullough, and a second-round pick.
Quietly, the Brooklyn Nets have developed some nice young players. Spencer Dinwiddie and Joe Harris are quality players, but both are free agents this summer, and the Nets may not be able to re-sign them. Washington will have to take the risk of signing them this summer, but in the short term, both provide some much-needed depth. Harris brings shooting, and Dinwiddie brings a competent back up to Wall and a guy who can start while he is out. The cost isn’t high either. Satoransky will intrigue the Nets and McCullough is a nice young prospect. The second-round pick sweetens the deal. This deal makes sense for both teams.
If I were the Wizards, I would look into all three deals. All three help them in the short term without doing too much damage in the long term. It may be the only way they can survive Wall’s injury and do damage in the postseason once he gets back.