The Washington Wizards continue to fall down the Eastern Conference standings, but so far that hasn’t been enough to change their approach to the NBA trade deadline. It seems the team is intent on making moves to improve Bradley Beal‘s supporting cast immediately, instead of tearing things down completely or positioning themselves to make big moves in the upcoming offseason.
If the goal is to get talent right now, this rumor makes complete sense. Sabonis is a star on the offensive end of the floor and would instantly become one of the top five teammates Bradley Beal has played with on the Wizards.
How the duo would fit on defense is the question mark. It would require a roster built around protecting those two on the defensive end if the Wizards were to field the duo and wanted to be a good defensive team. Still, the talent of Beal and Sabonis would make it worth building entirely around their strengths and weaknesses.
While some fans are rolling their eyes at these rumors, mostly because they want the Wizards to accept they can’t build a winner around Beal, it’s a worthwhile pursuit because of the potential payoff. Making this type of trade would be reminiscent of the Chicago Bulls’ trade to acquire Nikola Vucevic last year at the trade deadline.
While it was easy to question that move at the time, the Bulls now sit among the top teams in the Eastern Conference.
Could the Wizards Actually Land Domantas Sabonis?
The real question is whether or not the Wizards have the assets to pull off such a trade. Sure, they have young players that were selected in the NBA lottery over the last few seasons, but do those players bring the value a star like Sabonis will require in order to be traded?
Straight up, they do not. The Wizards need to be getting extremely creative in order to make a deal that the Pacers would be tempted to accept. We’re talking about at least one more team being involved, and very possibly more than that.
Rookie Corey Kispert, second-year forward Deni Avdija and third-year forward Rui Hachimura are all players that will have a range of value to different teams across the league. There are also veteran pieces like Spencer Dinwiddie and Montrezl Harrell that could help get assets to the Pacers in a potential trade.
It will take a lot of work to make this move happen. If the WIzards can pull it off, they might be on track to actually compete for something with Beal on the roster in the coming seasons.