After another underwhelming season that saw them finish tied with the 8th-worst record in the league, the Washington Wizards had focused their hopes on the draft lottery. Like most things this season, the lottery balls did not go the Wizards’ way as they got the 8th pick in the 2023 NBA Draft. Since the Wizards haven’t appointed a general manager yet, the direction the franchise is going to go is unclear, making speculating on what they are going to do with the pick a difficult task. If the ownership is finally convinced of a rebuild, then drafting a player with a high upside is the best option. However, if the goal of making the playoffs remains as it is, it behooves the Wizards to trade the 8th pick for instant contributors.
Perhaps more than any other team in the league, the Wizards know how hard it is to find NBA-ready players in the lower half of the top 10 of the draft. It is unreasonable to expect any rookie or even second-year player to seriously contribute to winning basketball. Therefore, if the new general manager has the mandate to be competitive and make the playoffs, it makes a lot of sense to trade the 8th pick of the draft.
A first-round draft pick has more value before the draft compared to once the season starts. Trading the pick before the draft allows the receiving team to select the player they desire. There is also the risk of your selection losing its value once the season starts by underperforming or by simply not getting enough minutes. Just think of the return the Wizards could have gotten for the 10th pick before the 2022 Draft versus what they would get for Johnny Davis today. Young players need playing time and if you are not in a position to give that to them, opting for veterans is the more logical choice.
Here are four trade scenarios for the Wizards to consider should they decide to trade the 8th pick of the draft.