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The Aquilian

Deadline moves the Wizards need to make

Kyle Kuzma fighting for a rebound against the Los Angeles Clippers. Photo from Flickr used with Creative Commons License.

The Washington Wizards have been one of the NBA’s worst franchises since the 1970s. The team has not had a 50-win season since 1973 and has not made a conference finals since 1978. This year, the team is not doing much better. 

This season the Wizards sit at 9-40, and are in 14th place in the eastern conference. The season was over for this team before it began, as this team never had the roster talent to compete. In order for the franchise to become eastern conference contenders, a major rebuild must happen. 

Despite the Wizards being one of the worst teams in the league, they have some pieces that I believe could be great additions for title contenders. 

Starting off with Kyle Kuzma. Kuz is the best player on this Wizards team and is their most valuable asset. Averaging about 22 points, 6.5 rebounds and 4.2 assists a game, Kuzma would be a great addition for many of the teams around the association. The Wizards can greatly improve their rebuild by flipping him for a player and a couple first rounders. One trade that would be beneficial to Washingtin would be trading Kyle Kuzma to Sacramento for players like Kevin Huerter or Malik Monk along with one to two first round picks. A move like this would add to Washington’s draft capital while also building some depth. A move like this also has the potential to free millions of dollars in cap space, which could be used in the future to sign other important players. I believe that trading Kuzma away is the most important move that the team can make before the deadline. 

Kuzma is not the only valuable piece that the Wizards have. Tyus Jones is also a piece that the Wizards need to trade. Tyus Jones is averaging 12.2 points while hitting 40% of his threes. Washington should flip him to the New York Knicks, for Quinton Grimes, a first round and second round pick. This trade adds more draft picks and a good young player who plays really good defense. Tyus Jones has played well as a starter for Washington, and many teams could use him off of the bench. His value will get Washington a decent pick or a solid young player, both of which Washington needs to build a good team. 

Washington’s last meaningful assets are Delon Wright and Daniel Gafford. Both of these players individually are not worth much, maybe a second round pick or a role player. Even though these players are not worth much, the Wizards need to get them off the team, and getting anything in return would be beneficial.  

The best way for Washington to trade these players is by packaging them with either Kuzma or Jones. Even though they are not worth much, they can provide good bench play and depth to the team they are traded to. Adding them to a Kuzma or Jones trade would add depth to the team that trades for them, and in return, teams might be inclined to throw in an extra first rounder or a talented young player. Wright and Gafford do not provide much value for the Wizards in the future, and since the team is not going to make the playoffs this year, getting anything for them would benefit Washington in the long run. 

Washington should approach this year’s deadline with a sellers mindset. The Wizards have to build for the future, and right now they have to unload as much cap-space as possible, and as many old players as possible. In return, Washington needs to get as many cheap young players as possible, a bunch of draft picks. These moves will set the team up with depth for the future, and the picks will give the team young talent which they can build around. Loading up on picks can also be a way for the team to trade for a superstar when the team is ready to compete for a title. 

The only way this season can be a success for the team is if they can get a lot in return for these players. If they are unable to trade these players this season will be a failure, and we can expect to see the same old Wizards for the foreseeable future.

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