On the eve of the 2023 NBA Draft, the new big three of the Washington Wizards’ front office made their latest move. They traded Kristaps Porzingis in one of the most dramatic and suspenseful trades the NBA has seen in a while.
From teams backing out last minute, to finalizing the trade at the buzzer, this was a wild saga. Even Adrian Wojnarowski fed into it by releasing small bits of information over the course of half an hour.
Eventually, we learned the full extent of the deal, and it was crazy to say the least. Marcus Smart is now on the Memphis Grizzlies, the Washington Wizards managed to gain more value from the Grizzlies than the Los Angeles Clippers, and Porzingis is now a Celtic.
This trade will have major ramifications for the Wizards moving forward as they continue on with their quest for a rebuild.
What do the Washington Wizards have to work with after trading Kristaps Porzingis?
In the last two trades, the Wizards have failed to acquire a single first-round pick despite trading both Bradley Beal and Kristaps Porzingis. This is largely due to the ridiculous contract given to Beal and the fact that Porzingis had all the leverage over the Wizards.
However, they did receive almost a full roster full of movable contracts, an undisclosed number of second-round picks, and above all else, a mountain of money. These three things give the Wizards a long list of options in the coming days.
These players include Chris Paul, Landry Shamet, Danilo Gallinari, Mike Muscala, and Tyus Jones. This does not include players already on the roster such as Daniel Gafford, Delon Wright, or Monte Morris.
They could easily keep all of their players and picks until the deadline and then flip every player to contenders looking for a boost in exchange for future picks or bad contracts. They could also move a few of their new additions as well as the players already rostered to add to their draft selections in Thursday’s draft.
There is a realistic situation where the Wizards could flip many of their assets into multiple first round picks and come away from the draft with a haul of young players. While it may be unlikely, the Wiz definitely have the trade assets to flip into draft selections.
The plan for the Wizards currently seems similar to the Detroit Pistons, tear down the team for cheap, cash in on what they can, build from the ground up. This has yet to yield results for the Pistons, but they will have one of the more intriguing rosters in the league, making this a worthy target for the Wiz.
It may not seem like it, but the Washington Wizards have a plan and are in the beginning stages of it. While it stings to see Kristaps Porzingis and Bradley Beal go, both of those moves were necessary in order to build a championship caliber core in the future.