The Washington Wizards are 5-11 and have looked more or less listless through the early part of this NBA season.

Time to blow it up?


Adrian Wojnarowski says nobody on the roster is exempt from trade talks. 

Woj on ESPN:

As the Washington Wizards‘ season spirals, the franchise has started to deliver teams an impression that every player on their roster — including All-Star guards John Wall and Bradley Beal — is available for discussion in trade scenarios, league sources told ESPN.

Washington’s preference remains to reshape the team around Wall and Beal, but poor play among key teammates is limiting their trade value and paralyzing the Wizards’ efforts to make meaningful changes to a roster that no longer appears functional together, league sources said.

Washington had hopes that forwards Otto Porter and Kelly Oubre could be centerpieces of deals that could return an impactful third star, but those players have fetched minimal interest on the market.

Do the Sixers slide in here? Sounds like GM Ernie Grunfeld is still hopeful of building something around Wall and Beal vs. blowing this thing up entirely.

Here’s the contract situation of Washington’s top-end guys:

Let’s go down the list and see what makes sense here:

Otto Porter

Brutal contract. He’s owed $26 million next year and $27 million the next year.

You’re not taking that on for a small forward, not when you have Jimmy Butler playing that position and Zhaire Smith coming off the bench eventually in the same role. Wilson Chandler is also a candidate to move back to SF as well if you found another power forward in the buyout or trade market.

Let’s scratch Porter off the list.

Bradley Beal

The pick of the bunch, for sure.

Beal is owed $25 million this year, $27 million next year, and $28 million the season after.

He’s averaging 21 points this season as one of the league’s better shooting guards. He’s 6’5″, creates his own shot, and can defend.

I just wonder how much overlap you’d have by putting Beal and Jimmy Butler on the same team. You’d bring in Beal as your two-guard, bump Butler down to small forward, and send JJ Redick back to the bench, where he started the season in lieu of Markelle Fultz.

That would give you a starting unit and rotation that looks something like this, depending on who the Sixers would send to Washington:

  1. Ben Simmons –> Markelle Fultz –> TJ McConnell
  2. Bradley Beal –> JJ Redick –> Landry Shamet
  3. Jimmy Butler –> Furkan Korkmaz/Zhaire Smith
  4. Wilson Chandler –> Mike Muscala –> Jonah Bolden
  5. Joel Embiid –> Amir Johnson

That’s one hell of a starting unit. If Brett Brown could massage those personalities, keep everyone happy, and find enough shots to go around, you could probably walk right into the Eastern Conference finals.

I don’t know what you give up to acquire Beal. Fultz does not have a ton of value at this point. The 2021 1st rounder would be in play. Who else on this team is expendable and also has value? Zhaire Smith? Landry Shamet? There are not a ton of assets left to work with here, and the Wizards probably aren’t interested in just taking on expiring contracts or anything Sam Hinkie-esque.

John Wall

They don’t need a point guard.

Ian Mahinmi

Too expensive for a backup center.

Markieff Morris

Honestly, probably the most realistic name on the list. The 29 year old Morris is a local guy and the Sixers could use some help at power forward.

Let’s first go back to the summer –

Did you bring in Wilson Chandler expecting him to play the four with the starting unit for the entirety of the year? He’s certainly capable of it, but I think they imagined him as more of a perimeter defender to help combat Boston and Toronto in the playoffs, a 6th man who could start if necessary, but was more of the two-way wing they lacked last season.

Morris is on the final year of an $8.6 million contract. He’s averaging 10 and 4 this season while shooting 43% from the field and 34% from three, down from 48% and 36.7%, respectively. I’m not entirely sure he fits what they want to do here, but are you comfortable playing the year with Chandler, Mike Muscala, and a staggered rotation at the four? Beyond that, does Amir Johnson backing up Joel Embiid carry you to the promised land? I don’t know. If anything, I feel like the biggest need on this team is at the four or five. Maybe you can even find a backup power forward to spell Chandler and see what you have in Muscala as a five, which he’s played before. That would limit Amir Johnson to a sidebar role.

Something to think about. I really do think the Sixers are less likely to make a huge splash for a guy like Beal and more likely to kick the tires on a player like Morris.

Kelly Oubre

He’s an affordable wing, just 22 years old and still on his rookie deal.

I don’t know how much Washington wants to move him vs. figuring out the top-end of their contract situation, specifically with Porter. Kelly Oubre seems like the least of Washington’s concerns through 16 games, but he’s a young and affordable player who is still on his rookie deal.

Maybe you get them to package Oubre into some sort of combo deal that involves somebody else. He’s averaging 13 and 4 this season at the small forward position, but he only shoots the three at a career 31.8% and he isn’t the best ball mover out there. He’s not the type of dude to sling the ball around in a high-paced motion offense, so I don’t know how he’d fit in on a second unit with Fultz, Shamet, Muscala, and Johnson. Again, you’ve got Zhaire Smith returning to the SF position and Furkan Korkmaz actually playing decently enough off the bench, so does Oubre really move the needle that much?

Jeff Green

He’s been pretty good this year, averaging 10 and 5 on 48% shooting. He’s not a three-point shooter and never has been, which Brett Brown really looks for in his power forwards. Green is 32 years old, on a cheap contract, and becomes an unrestricted free agent in the spring.

Anyway, it’s worth keeping an eye on the Wizards’ dumpster fire of a season. I personally think the Sixers are fine for now, and I’d ride the buyout market for a backup big or veteran shooter if possible. I don’t even know if the Wizards would deal Bradley Beal to another Eastern Conference team unless it was a pretty damn good package. If Elton Brand does do something here, it’s likely to be for one of the Washington role players.