Washington Wizards: Winners and losers from the trade deadline

Washington Wizards Tommy Sheppard (Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images)
Washington Wizards Tommy Sheppard (Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images) /

With another NBA trade deadline in the books, here are the Washington Wizards’ winners and losers from Thursday’s action.

The Washington Wizards were busy on Thursday. With deals that sent both Jordan McRae to the Denver Nuggets and Isaiah Thomas to the Los Angeles Clippers, the Wizards welcomed Shabazz Napier and Jerome Robinson to the roster.

Wizards Trade Deadline Moves

After years of head-scratching moves by the Washington Wizards’ front office at this time of year, general manager Tommy Sheppard managed to avoid public scrutiny and added proven talent to a roster in need of a “culture change”.

Must Read. Grade the Trade: Washington Wizards trade Isaiah Thomas for Jerome Robinson. light

Whether it be Ian Mahinmi staying, Sheppard not gambling on Tristan Thompson or Andre Drummond, or the Isaiah Thomas trade, there’s plenty to discuss with regards to the Wizards’ decisions this trade deadline.

With all this being said, here are three winners and two losers from the Washington Wizards’ trade deadline on Thursday afternoon.

Winner: Ish Smith

With under an hour before the 3 P.M. deadline, news broke that veteran point guard Isaiah Thomas was part of a 3 team deal that sent him to the Los Angeles Clippers.

Throughout the majority of the season thus far, Thomas and Ish Smith have shared minutes at the point guard position. With Thomas now out of the picture, Smith’s minutes should skyrocket in the coming contests despite the addition of Shabazz Napier, and Smith will now have ample opportunity to showcase his talents as the savvy veteran guard that the Wizards have been searching for in John Wall‘s absence.

In the long term, Smith’s minutes might start to dwindle as John Wall nears return, but for now the I.T. trade is a big win for Ish Smith.

Loser: Jordan McRae

This Jordan McRae loss hurts, man. Not only was McRae a solid, consistent scorer off the bench for the Wiz this season, but his presence in the locker room and in the community especially will be sorely missed.

Averaging almost 13 points in under 23 minutes played per game per Basketball Reference , McRae was basically given the green light to showcase his scoring ability for an injury-riddled Washington Wizards team. His success in his role as a scorer for the Wizards vastly improved his stock and was what ultimately got him traded to the Denver Nuggets on Thursday afternoon.

Must Read. Grade the Trade: Washington Wizards trade Jordan McRae for Shabazz Napier. light

Despite being traded to a legitimate contender in a stacked Western Conference, McRae won’t get nearly as many looks or touches as he did on the Wizards, and especially due to the depth the Nuggets have his role on the floor will be much more limited.

Winner: Davis Bertans

From the start of free agency to the last hour before the deadline, Davis Bertans was by far the most sought out Wizard due to his three point expertise, which makes keeping Bertans a statement decision for the franchise.

By keeping Bertans despite multiple offers from different teams across the league, general manager Tommy Sheppard made it clear that he thinks that Bertans is a huge part of the plan going forward, a massive win for both Bertans and the Wizards’ franchise as a whole.

So far this season, Bertans has averaged 15 points on nearly 43 percent from the three-point arc, and has consistently been an electrifying offensive presence for the Wizards.

Now that it’s clear Bertans will be part of the Wizards’ future, it’ll be exciting to see what opposing defenses will have to do trying to defend the likes of John Wall, Bradley Beal, Rui Hachimura, AND The Latvian Laser all at once.

Loser: Isaiah Thomas

It stinks to see him go, but the move to trade Isaiah Thomas to the Clippers was the right one for the Wizards. With the emergence of the aforementioned Ish Smith, and John Wall getting closer and closer to return. It almost felt as though his trade was imminent.

As a Wizard, Isaiah Thomas was given the chance to prove that he still has what it takes to be an NBA star in the league after a tough hip injury, something that he was very grateful for.

However, despite being dealt to a title contending NBA team in the Los Angeles Clippers, it doesn’t look as though Thomas will be a part of their game plan going forward, per David Aldridge.

This means that overnight, Isaiah Thomas went from averaging 23 minutes per game on the Washington Wizards to being without any team to call home. This has to chalk up as a loss for Thomas, who was initially brought into D.C. with hopes of halting his trend of bouncing around from team to team over the past couple of seasons.

Related Story. Washington Wizards: The IT experiment has failed. light

Knowing the heart and passion Thomas plays with, it’d be hard to imagine he never plays in the NBA again. However, his path back to prosperity just got a whole lot more complicated after his trade to the Los Angeles Clippers.

Winner: Tommy Sheppard

Maybe the fact that Ernie Grunfeld was the previous general manager has clouded the judgement of Wizards fans, but MAN does Tommy Sheppard look good! In just his first season, Sheppard has singlehandedly rewritten the narrative of the Washington Wizards, taking them from a team floundering in a pool of mediocrity to a talented, young, underrated squad.

Sheppard’s hot streak of acquiring young players with potential continued on Thursday, with the acquisition of Jerome Robinson from the Los Angeles Clippers.

In addition to giving some of the most inspiring quotes to the public, by all accounts Sheppard has been a positive, nontoxic manager behind the scenes in his first season at the head of the regime. According to Candace Buckner, Sheppard even went out of his way to make sure that the Jordan McRae trade was as clean and professional as possible, which isn’t something all general managers would do.

For a team that star guard Bradley Beal described as needing a “culture change”, Tommy Sheppard’s decision making thus far as evidenced by this trade deadline has proved that he’s the man for the job.

Here’s to hoping his plan for the team going forward pans out the way he envisions.

Next. 4 Questions facing the Washington Wizards after the trade deadline. dark