2020 NBA Free Agency: 3 Realistic centers for the Washington Wizards

Washington Wizards Nerlens Noel (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images)
Washington Wizards Nerlens Noel (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images) /
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Washington Wizards Aron Baynes (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
Washington Wizards Aron Baynes (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /

The Washington Wizards need some help at the center position heading into the 2020-21 season. Here are some realistic options they should target in free agency.

Heading into the 2020 NBA Draft, the popular prediction was that the Wizards would take a defensive big man in the first round. Well, that didn’t happen. They still had a great draft, picking up Israel’s Deni Avdija with the ninth pick and then maneuvering in the second-round to get Michigan State’s Cassius Winston.

However, one of their biggest offseason needs – defense – has yet to be addressed. One way they can improve is by adding a defensive-minded center to join their frontcourt. If the Wizards plan on handing over the bag to Davis Bertans, they won’t have a ton of money to give free agents. Top tier centers like Christian Wood could be out of their price range. Veterans like Serge Ibaka and Dwight Howard may be looking to join more established contenders. So who could the Wizards really get?

Here are three centers the Washington Wizards could realistically get in free agency.

Realistic Option #3: Aron Baynes

Unless Tommy Sheppard pulls off some real wizardry in free agency, Aron Baynes may be the best free-agent big man the Wizards can get for their money. Baynes is coming off the best season of his career with the Phoenix Suns. In 42 games, Baynes averaged 11.5 points and 5.6 rebounds in 22 minutes per game, all career highs. He’s an efficient scorer near the rim and shot 61.5 percent when within 10 feet of the rim, but can also hit from outside. Baynes shot 35 percent from three in Phoenix (4.0 attempts/game).

Last season, Baynes made  $5.4 million with the Suns and is probably due for a raise after his career year. However, the Wizards should still be able to afford Baynes with their non-taxpayer mid-level exception worth $9.25 million. Baynes will be getting a raise, but he won’t be doubling his salary.

Baynes will turn 34 next month, so he’s certainly not the center of the future here in D.C., but he’d be a nice stop-gap and could help sure up the defense down low.