With just two days remaining until the NBA Trade Deadline, the Washington Wizards are still searching for some bench help. The New Orleans Pelicans are reportedly shopping Austin Rivers and rookie Pierre Jackson, and the Wizards seem to be interested.
— Sam Amico (@SamAmicoFSO) February 18, 2014
With Jason Smith out for the rest of the season, the Pelicans are looking to acquire a backup big man, which is something the Wizards could potentially offer. Kevin Seraphin has been Washington’s primary backup big, but Trevor Booker and Jan Vesely haven’t really gotten consistent minutes. Booker and Vesely are adequate rebounders and they could probably fill the void in Smith’s absence.
On the flip side, Pierre Jackson is essentially the type of guard the Wizards are looking to add off their bench. Jackson is averaging nearly 30 points and 6 assists in the NBA Developmental League and he’s capable becoming a scoring spark as a reserve. He also broke the D-League scoring record, putting up 58 points in a single contest. Garrett Temple has been solid defensively, but doesn’t provide the scoring relief the Wizards are looking for when John Wall gets the occasional breather.
Austin Rivers has had a rough start to his NBA career, but he has shown some improvement in his second season. He certainly hasn’t lived up to the hype he got coming out of Duke, but he still has the potential to become a decent combo guard.
Washington will almost certainly be looking to acquire a guard before the deadline, so it’s no surprise that they’re expressing interest in either Rivers or Jackson. I’ve been advocating a trade for Jackson for quite some time, but I’m not sure the Wizards will have enough to acquire him, especially since other teams have also reportedly expressed interest. He fits the mold of what the Wizards are looking for and I think he’d be a better fit than Beno Udrih, Luke Ridnour, or any of the other players the Wizards have been linked to. Jan Vesely, Trevor Booker, Chris Singleton, and Glen Rice Jr. will probably be on the trade block, and it wouldn’t surprise me if those were the names mentioned in talks involving the Wizards.
Note: Amico’s tweet makes it difficult to understand whether the Pelicans would ‘add’ Jackson to their roster, or ‘add’ him to a trade involving Rivers. Jackson has been named in many trade rumors this season, so I implied that the Wizards were interested in both guards. Jrue Holiday is expected to return soon, and the Pelicans have decided to play Brian Roberts as their primary point guard since he was sidelined. I’m assuming he’d return to the backup guard spot–making Jackson available.