1 Player Every Team Should Dump on the 2023 NBA Trade Deadline
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Every NBA team has something it hopes so as to add on the Feb. 9 trade deadline, be that a win-now contributor, a long-term draft asset or anything in between.
While some clubs won’t admit this publicly, all of them have someone they’d prefer to unload too—or, as a minimum, someone who’d bring back more value in a trade than he’d supply on the hardwood.
The aim here is highlight each team’s most expendable player for a wide range of aspects that can be discussed in additional detail because it pertains to the situation.
Atlanta Hawks: John Collins
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John Collins has seemingly spent the majority of his six-year profession within the rumor mill. Along with his production trending down and his pay rate going up, this trade chatter will only get louder.
The Hawks have never leaned on the 25-year-old forward less. His 10.3 shots per game are the fewest since his 2017-18 rookie season. His 17.3 usage percentage is a profession low. On a quite-possibly-related note, he’s also recording a personal-worst minus-1.2 box plus/minus.
A change of scenery seems best for Collins, and his subtraction should unlock floor time for dynamic defender Onyeka Okongwu.
Boston Celtics: Danilo Gallinari
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Danilo Gallinari hasn’t given up hope of helping Boston this season, however the Shamrocks should dismiss that notion and not using a second thought.
He’s 34 years old and four-odd months faraway from tearing his left ACL. Even when he crushes his rehab process, he’s unlikely to be cleared until the playoffs are well underway. Would the Celtics really trust him in a serious moment when he’s yet to log a second for this franchise? Do they feel so starved for second-unit scoring that they’d be willing to overlook his defensive shortcomings, which could have exponentially grown after his injury?
The C’s, who need more reliable depth within the frontcourt, should package Gallo’s $6.5 million salary with a sweetener or two to search out a capable contributor who doesn’t carry nearly as many query marks.
Brooklyn Nets: Day’Ron Sharpe
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The Brooklyn Nets are on the hunt for upgrades, per The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor, who listed Seth Curry, Joe Harris and Patty Mills as candidates for a trade, presumably one which sacrifices perimeter scoring for higher depth up front.
Regardless of which of those players are moved, it will behoove Brooklyn to connect Day’Ron Sharpe to the deal. He cannot have a ton of trade value, but rebuilders might see the appeal of grabbing a flier on a 2021 first-round pick.
The Nets, as you have surely heard a thousand times this season, could stand so as to add size at the middle spot. Sharpe is the team’s biggest player (6’11”, 265 lbs), but that hasn’t been enough to get him regular run. Five of his last six few-and-far-between appearances lasted fewer than seven minutes.
Charlotte Hornets: Terry Rozier
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It is simple (and accurate) to say the Charlotte Hornets needs to be shopping all of their upcoming free agents (yes, including P.J. Washington). In the event that they don’t unload each of Mason Plumlee and Kelly Oubre Jr. on the deadline, which may warrant an offseason investigation for front-office malpractice. Trading Washington is not a necessity, however the Hornets need to at the least know his market with restricted free agency awaiting him.
Charlotte, though, must think even larger. It needs to be fully embracing asset-collection mode, and whether it is, it’ll be aggressively shopping Terry Rozier.
Unlike the oft-injured Gordon Hayward (a pipe dream of a trade candidate), Rozier could have real value across the Association. He’s on target to average at the least 18 points and 4.0 assists for the fourth consecutive season, a distinction shared with 19 other players, a lot of them annual All-Stars. Rozier also has 50 playoff outings under his belt, a tenacity on the defensive end and a $21.5 million salary that might be more easily stomached by a team higher built for achievement than Charlotte.
Chicago Bulls: Coby White
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This needs to be a tough query to reply given all the uncertainty swirling across the Windy City. Buying, selling and holding all feel like they might be on the table for this franchise.
But what is the direction that might make keeping Coby White, who has generally disillusioned since arriving because the No. 7 pick in 2019, a wise strategy?
If the Bulls wind up buying or holding—i.e., still attempting to compete—why would they suddenly start leaning on White, who’s averaging profession lows in minutes, shots and usage? Conversely, in the event that they lean right into a top-to-bottom rebuild, do they need to begin that project off by covering the fee of his upcoming restricted free agency?
Cleveland Cavaliers: Caris LeVert
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Caris LeVert is a superb player, but he’s probably a greater trade chip for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The proven fact that he’s essentially the most talented player in the combo for the starting small forward gig but still hasn’t locked it down speaks to his imperfect fit with this team. Cleveland’s backcourt combo of Darius Garland and Donovan Mitchell could use a lockdown defender at the three. The inside tandem of Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley would profit from a floor-spacing small forward.
LeVert doesn’t check either box. He’s a crafty shot-creator but not ok in that role to take touches away from Garland and Mitchell. Which may presumably make LeVert an intriguing sixth man, but he’s been awful in 22 games as a reserve (9.6 points on 42.4/27.1/68.5 shooting). Cleveland should shop him and his expiring $18.8 million salary seeking a cleaner fit.
Dallas Mavericks: JaVale McGee
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Surface stats cannot capture the degree of disappointment tied to JaVale McGee’s first season with the Dallas Mavericks. If all you saw were his traditional numbers, you’d never work out why he struggles to search out the ground. Last season, he averaged 20.9 points and a couple of.5 blocks per 36 minutes while shooting 62.9 percent from the sphere. This season, those numbers are 17.8, 2.5 and 62.0, respectively.
So, why has he fallen up to now out of favor in such little time after inking a three-year, $17.2 million deal last offseason? Because while his breakdowns at each ends rarely show themselves on the stat sheet, they’ve absolutely malfunctioned the Mavericks.
Dallas is a soul-crushing 23.6 points worse per 100 possessions with him than without. He’s in the first percentile for net differential and the 0th percentile for offensive differential (minus-16 points per 100 possessions). The Mavs cannot remove him from their equation quickly enough.
Denver Nuggets: Zeke Nnaji
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If no-trades-needed exceptions were allowed, this may be the spot to make use of it. The Denver Nuggets have a terrific thing going, and there aren’t obvious candidates on the roster. I briefly entertained the thought of Peyton Watson, but Denver snatched him up at thirtieth overall last summer with each eyes on the longer term. He is not bringing back a large enough return to desert ship already.
Zeke Nnaji may be a trade candidate in theory only too. Denver is finally counting on him with some consistency, and he’s mostly delivering.
Still, the Nuggets may need enough depth up front to live without him—if not, they may all the time hit the buyout market to fill within the cracks—and perhaps that is reason to flip him to deal with a greater need. A fringe stopper could have a greater probability of cracking the playoff rotation than Nnaji.
Detroit Pistons: Bojan Bogdanović
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It’s possible Bojan Bogdanović can be the most effective player moved at this deadline. Assuming, you recognize, that he actually gets dealt. Consider it or not, the Detroit Pistons keep telling anyone who will listen that they are not married to the thought of moving the 33-year-old swingman, per The Athletic’s James L. Edwards III:
“Per league sources, as of late January, the Pistons, who’ve aspirations of turning a corner next season, would want significant value in return to think about moving Bogdanović inside the following two weeks, with the minimum place to begin being an unprotected first-round pick. Detroit values Bogdanović highly and doesn’t need to move him unless an amazing offer makes an excessive amount of sense.”
The Pistons could also be using this as a leverage play to elicit that “overwhelming offer.” They’ve the Eastern Conference’s worst winning percentage at .260 (second-worst overall) and maybe the NBA’s most sought-after trade goal. That combination has to provide a deal.
Golden State Warriors: James Wiseman
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Here’s the list of Golden State Warriors who’re making extra money than James Wiseman this season: Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins and Draymond Green.
Here’s the list of Warriors who’ve contributed more win shares than Wiseman: Actually, for time constraints, I’ll spare you the total list and just let you recognize it’s 12 players long.
This is not working. Regardless of how Golden State feels about his development, it clearly doesn’t trust him to contribute. And with Curry still in the guts of an all-time prime, the Warriors needs to be solely focused on without delay. They’ve the top-level talent to compete for a title, but they need to fix the supporting forged. Sacrificing Wiseman’s potential for present production is a no brainer.
Houston Rockets: Eric Gordon
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In some unspecified time in the future between now and the Feb. 9 trade deadline, the #FreeEricGordon movement higher end in a freed Eric Gordon.
The 34-year-old cannot possibly have more wisdom to impart on the rebuilding Houston Rockets. At the least, not enough of it to pass up whatever assets he could fetch on the open market.
Houston reportedly turned down a proposal of 4 second-round picks from the Milwaukee Bucks in hopes of landing a first-round selection as an alternative, per NBA reporter Marc Stein. Whether that supply materializes or not, the Rockets need to get a deal done. This is sort of definitely Houston’s last probability to show Gordon into an asset, as his contract for next season is non-guaranteed.
Indiana Pacers: Buddy Hield
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Losing (likely) All-Star guard Tyrese Haliburton to elbow and knee injuries could prove to be a blessing in disguise for the Pacers. Indiana has flat-lined without its floor general, dropping eight of its last nine contests. That ought to free the franchise from harboring any false hopes of snagging a top-six seed and clearing the runway for more future-focused trades.
Dealing Myles Turner ahead of his upcoming enterprise into free agency is definitely an option. Shipping out Buddy Hield, though, seems more of a necessity.
The 26-year-old Turner is theoretically young enough to re-sign so he can grow with this core. The identical cannot be said of the 30-year-old Hield, whose $18.6 million base salary would put a strain on next season’s payroll. Despite the pricey pact, he could command a superb return from a shooting-starved buyer. He’s a profession 40.1 percent shooter from distance and leads the Association with 191 triples this season.
Los Angeles Clippers: Luke Kennard
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The Los Angeles Clippers needs to be committed to chasing a championship. With Kawhi Leonard perhaps returning to superstardom (20.9 points on 51.0 percent shooting), Paul George playing at an All-Star level and the Western Conference being wide-open (the fifth-seeded Clippers are only 2.5 games up on the Thirteenth-seeded Lakers), the time to strike is now.
Not to say, Leonard and George can each wiggle out of their contracts in 2024. L.A. cannot bank on having greater than two cracks with this core.
That is why moving a player like Luke Kennard is smart. L.A. cannot make marginal moves; it’d need each a place to begin guard and a backup big to make its championship dream a reality. If a mega-move does go down, Kennard will likely land on the chopping block. His 42.8 percent profession three-point rate must have his suitors, and his $13.7 million salary will help make the maths work.
Los Angeles Lakers: Russell Westbrook
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Some will argue against the Los Angeles Lakers doing anything major on the deadline, claiming the ceiling is not high enough to part with future assets (like one or each of their 2027 and 2029 first-round picks).
That is off the mark in my eyes, which have seen LeBron James and Anthony Davis summon their superpowers only to observe them undone by a supporting forged that seldom provides even adequate support. The concept that help might be on the way in which this summer took successful with the recent trade for Rui Hachimura, who holds an $18.8 million cap hold until his restricted free agency is determined.
They need to push their chips in now. The West may never be this wide-open again, and time only knows how for much longer James (38) and Davis (29) can keep this up. More specifically, L.A. needs to show Russell Westbrook and his cap-crushing $47.1 million salary right into a player (or players) who fit alongside its stars.
Westbrook’s .023 win shares per 48 minutes are at an all-time low, while his 18.0 turnover percentage matches his all-time high.
Memphis Grizzlies: Danny Green
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The Memphis Grizzlies seem convinced that Danny Green, who tore his ACL in May and turned 35 in June, can contribute to their championship push. It seems like he’ll get that probability too, as he’s eyeballing a Feb. 1 return.
It’s hard to assume Memphis will see enough to understand how much he will help by the point the deadline arrives. Even when the Grizzlies are bullish about his play by then, there isn’t any telling how long his body will delay.
That is too many query marks for a club that may be one player away from taking the title. An impact two-way wing—a player not unlike Green at his peak—might be the missing puzzle piece. If Memphis uncovers a path to 1, it likely involves shedding Green’s expiring $10 million salary.
Miami Heat: Duncan Robinson
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Some might argue for Kyle Lowry here, but there may be value in his ability to prepare this group at each ends.
What value is Duncan Robinson providing? He is not simply having a brutal season for a $16.9 million player. It is a bad yr by any measure. The shooting specialist is converting just 36.8 percent of his field goals and 33.1 percent of his threes. His minus-4.8 box plus/minus ranks 301st among the many 304 players who’ve logged 500-plus minutes this season.
The Heat, who need more scoring within the half court and more size up front, needs to be aiming high this trade season. Turning the overpaid Robinson and a sweetener or two into someone who can see significant floor time within the playoffs could be an enormous win.
Milwaukee Bucks: Grayson Allen
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While Grayson Allen has more utility than, say, George Hill, trade partners have that information too. So, they will not send anything of value to Milwaukee for Hill, but they may for Allen, who’s shooting above the league average from three for the fourth consecutive campaign and averaging double-digit points for the third straight season.
That matters, because if Milwaukee opts to make a deal—and it doesn’t need to go that route—then it needs so as to add a player (more specifically, a wing) who’s ok to get postseason minutes.
That is why Allen’s name keeps popping in trade rumors, with HoopsHype’s Michael Scotto most recently connecting Allen to the Recent York Knicks in a deal involving Cam Reddish. Milwaukee learned the importance of wing depth the hard way in the course of the 2022 playoffs, when the lack of Khris Middleton effectively short-circuited this squad. If the Bucks need to beef up their wing ranks, then Allen likely has to go.
Minnesota Timberwolves: D’Angelo Russell
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Is it too early to say the Minnesota Timberwolves should reverse course and break apart their frontcourt combo of Karl-Anthony Towns and Rudy Gobert? Probably.
Clearly, though, this funky roster hasn’t jelled, and it’d take a top-flight floor general to figure that part out. D’Angelo Russell is not that.
He’s a talented scorer (if not all the time an efficient one) and inventive passer, but he’ll never challenge for an assists title. His defensive effort is probably most favorably described as indifferent. His ball-dominant style may also be keeping Anthony Edwards from fully spreading his wings.
The Timberwolves should take the most effective offer they’ll fetch for Russell now and let another person work out what he’ll be price as an unrestricted free agent this summer.
Recent Orleans Pelicans: Devonte’ Graham
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Devonte’ Graham is fifth on the Pelicans in salary and tenth in total minutes. He’d land one other spot lower within the latter category if not for Brandon Ingram’s floor time being limited by repeat run-ins with the injury bug.
That math alone makes Graham the odd-man out, and deeper diving doesn’t change that.
Graham, who stands just 6’1″ and is not a terrific athlete, is in his fifth NBA season and still awaiting his first field-goal percentage north of 39. His three-point shooting has tailed off since last season (34.1 percent), and even his free throws have fallen to a profession low (73.7). The Pels should package him with a pick or two to land someone more able to helping this club.
Recent York Knicks: Evan Fournier
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Last season, Evan Fournier ostensibly did his job as a spacing specialist. He averaged a personal-best 3.0 triples per outing and splashed his long-range looks at a 38.9 percent clip.
Even then, though, his limitations in other areas torpedoed his impact, as he wound up with a minus-3.8 net differential that slotted him within the thirtieth percentile leaguewide.
Guess what’s happened to Fournier this time around with even his jumper failing him to the sad tune of a 34.8/31.0/82.4 slash line? Nothing good. That net differential is now minus-4.6, which slides him back to the twenty eighth percentile. He and his $18 million salary needs to be on the following flight out of Recent York.
Oklahoma City Thunder: Darius Bazley
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Is Darius Bazley good? Decent? Not good?
4 years into his NBA profession, that also is not clear. His physical tools and defensive versatility are intriguing, but his nonexistent offense is troubling. He’s all the way down to the seventh percentile in points per shot attempt (101.2 per 100 shots), and that percentile merely matches the worst mark of his profession.
Someone will soon need to evaluate Bazley and project his profession going forward, as restricted free agency awaits him this summer. The Thunder don’t seem super focused on being that somebody. He’s all the way down to just 14.2 minutes per night in January, a month wherein OKC has gone 8-4 with the league’s second-best net rating (plus-8.5).
Orlando Magic: Mo Bamba
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Things are mostly looking up for the rebuilding Orlando Magic—who’re 5-1 against the Celtics and Warriors, last yr’s finalists—but Mo Bamba is one in every of the exceptions.
And it is not even his fault. His shooting rates are amongst the most effective of his profession, yet he’s getting nearly nine minutes less per night than he did last season.
A crowded Orlando frontcourt is in charge for Bamba’s shrinking role, and Jonathan Isaac’s recent return from an ACL injury only created more congestion. Bamba is not Orlando’s only trade candidate (hello, Terrence Ross), but his age (24), upside and unique mix of paint protection and floor-spacing mean he might command the best return.
Philadelphia 76ers: Furkan Korkmaz
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This was a tricky call, because Philly really needs all of its rotation regulars. And with the Sixers in the guts of a championship race, they’ll give zero thought to using a Tobias Harris trade to balance the books. He may be overpaid for a fourth option ($37.6 million this season, $39.3 million in 2023-24), but he’s still too prominently placed within the pecking order to part with.
Now that Matisse Thybulle has worked his way back into the rotation, that probably removes him from consideration too. He’ll still be tough to cost in restricted free agency this summer, but within the meantime, his disruptive defense and energy can be helpful to have around.
So, the highlight lands on Furkan Korkmaz, a shooter who’s struggling to search out his shot (29.6 percent from three-point range because the start of last season). He isn’t any longer guaranteed consistent minutes, but perhaps the suitable shopper has enough of them available to assist him find his rhythm.
Phoenix Suns: Jae Crowder
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That is the no-brainiest of all no-brainers.
Jae Crowder has awaited his trade out of town since before the season began. The proven fact that he hasn’t been moved yet says nothing concerning the deal’s necessity.
He is difficult to trade, though, because the Phoenix Suns ostensibly need a Crowder-type player to interchange him. Still, you have got to think a three- (or more) team trade will fall into place in some unspecified time in the future and potentially give each Crowder and the Suns the prospect to compete for a title this season—just not together.
Portland Trail Blazers: Josh Hart
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You might probably argue for anyone not named Damian Lillard, Jerami Grant or Shaedon Sharpe here. Oh, and when you’re in any respect fearful about Grant’s next contract—he’ll turn 29 before he signs it, so…fingers crossed—you may consider him a candidate too.
Josh Hart gets the nod from me for a few reasons, though.
For starters, he holds a $13 million player option for next season, and he can likely beat that on the open market. His offensive role has never been quite what you’d hope it will be, and there is only a lot he can do defensively as a 6’5″ wing with a 6’7½” wingspan. But he’s a terrific rebounder, a sensible player and an asset within the open court.
Second, Portland should have the ability to fetch something decent for Hart. That may be harder to make occur with Jusuf Nurkić, whom Yahoo Sports’ Jake Fischer highlighted with Hart because the players Portland is most open to debate dealing.
Sacramento Kings: Terence Davis
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Are all of us comfortable buying into the Sacramento Kings now? Because I believe I’m there. Sure, it will be nice to see a defensive stop now and again. But this campaign is past the halfway point, and the Kings are seven games above .500 with the league’s best offense.
Leave your entire fake Harrison Barnes trades in 2022. Sacramento, which is finally on target to snap its historic playoff drought, is not letting go of a starter for anyone lower than star.
The Kings should try finding one other helpful contributor, and I’d wager that might be easier to get for Terence Davis, a two-way wing on a within your means expiring contract, than it will be for Richaun Holmes, an eight-figure-salary center who is not an elite shot-blocker and has made 46 threes in 407 profession games.
San Antonio Spurs: Josh Richardson
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The rebuilding San Antonio Spurs have three obvious trade candidates in veterans Jakob Poeltl, Doug McDermott and Josh Richardson. Theoretically, that ought to make this exercise extra tricky.
In fact, though, this feels surprisingly straightforward.
You might argue that Poeltl is young enough (27) and helpful enough as a defender and low-maintenance offensive player to maintain around and re-sign this summer. That is not the route I’d take, but there’s a wise side to it. McDermott, meanwhile, is signed through next season, so he doesn’t need to be moved now. San Antonio can keep its ears open and pounce on a positive swap, but when one never surfaces, it will probably just revisit his trade market this summer. It isn’t like teams will suddenly stop wanting his perimeter shooting.
As for Richardson, his contract only spans the remaining of this campaign. You trade him now or watch him walk this offseason. Re-signing him is a no-go, since San Antonio must prioritize the event of its young wings. He won’t fetch an enormous return, but as a plucky defender with a serviceable-or-better outside shot, he’ll have suitors.
Toronto Raptors: Khem Birch
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All eyes can be north of the border over the approaching weeks, as contenders cannot wait to get their hands on one in every of the Toronto Raptors’ many desirable trade targets.
But that is the thing: Toronto has a ton of talent—at the highest, at the least. Sure, it hasn’t come together this season, but this same core secured 48 wins in 2021-22 and gave the look of it had a probability to construct off that success. Possibly the formula simply doesn’t calculate, but breaking up a talented core midseason seems suboptimal.
If the Raptors feel comfortable keeping Fred VanVleet and Gary Trent Jr. in free agency (each have player options), they should not be eager to deal a core contributor. But Khem Birch? He makes rotation-regular money ($13.7 million over this season and next) despite not having an everyday role. Possibly turning his salary into something more useful could be a step toward fixing this broken bench.
Utah Jazz: Mike Conley
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The “Jazz don’t actually need to tank” talk has nearly silenced at this point. Because it must have. Utah all the time needed a top-to-bottom restart after trading a lot talent prior to now calendar yr. The proven fact that this group began strong (10-3) simply meant the front office hadn’t shipped out enough players yet.
The Jazz, who’re 15-23 since that opening stretch, appear to have accepted that fate. Lauri Markkanen and Walker Kessler are their only untouchables, per Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports.
That leaves a ton of candidates for this spot, but Mike Conley is the one who most clearly must go. He can offer a ton to a contender as a two-way court leader, but he must get to his next locker room earlier than later, since his 2023-24 salary is barely partially guaranteed.
Washington Wizards: Will Barton
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I’d wish to argue for a much bigger change here, because the Washington Wizards might need an organizational overhaul as much as anyone. But Bradley Beal has a no-trade clause (in some way), Kristaps Porziņģis must stay healthy longer to rebuild any trade value, and Washington reportedly tells anyone who asks that Kyle Kuzma “will not be available for trade,” per Yahoo Sports’ Jake Fischer.
If the Wizards would not even consider a reset, then it doesn’t make a ton of sense to spend a bunch of digital ink discussing that notion.
The move, then, could be to at the least ship out Will Barton. The 32-year-old hasn’t had a terrific season, which should torpedo any idea of re-signing him this summer. A win-now team that is desperate for some shot-creation, though, might give him the good thing about the doubt due to his track record and send something of value back to the District for him.
Statistics courtesy of Basketball Reference, NBA.com and Cleansing the Glass and accurate through Thursday. Salary information via Spotrac.
Zach Buckley covers the NBA for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter, @ZachBuckleyNBA.