The Washington Wizards desperately need another center. Their defense is atrocious and if they want to resemble a somewhat competitive team this season, they need to acquire a defensive-minded big man that can anchor the defense. However, they also can’t give up significant assets or draft compensation since they are a young and rebuilding team. Instead, they need to rebalance the roster, giving up perimeter players to add more frontcourt depth.
The Wizards also need to think about the timeline of their roster. It makes no sense to add an aging center to this group. They need to trade for a player whose prime is ahead of them and who can grow with this core and be a part of the next great Wizards team.
Robert Williams III of the Portland Trail Blazers might be that guy.
Williams just turned 26 but has plenty of postseason experience that could prove useful to this young squad. Plus, he is an excellent defensive center. He can switch to smaller players but also protect the rim very well. He adds a level of athleticism and verticality that the Wizards currently lack.
The main concern about Williams is his injury history. He hasn’t played more than 61 games in any season of his career.
However, that injury risk is why he would be acquirable for the Wizards. Because when healthy, he is one of the most valuable centers on a very team-friendly contract.
To acquire him, the Wizards give up Corey Kispert and Delon Wright. Losing Kispert would hurt but this team needs more defense, size, and athleticism. In order to bring a high-upside player like Williams, you need to part ways with a valuable player of your own.
The Blazers don’t need Williams as they already have Deandre Ayton as their starting five. It is a luxury to bring a player of Williams’ caliber off the bench for Portland. Instead, they need to add shooting so that the floor is spaced for Scoot Henderson and Shaedon Sharpe. Kispert fills that role very well. They also add Jaden Springer and Furkan Korkmaz from Philadelphia. They can help revive Korkmaz’s career and develop Springer to make him a long-term rotation piece.
The Sixers, on the other hand, give up two players who aren’t a part of their rotation right now, to add a defense-first veteran combo guard. Delon Wright is not only a proven rotation-level player who can help a contender, but he also fits perfectly next to Tyrese Maxey.
Draft compensation or other players could be involved in this deal, but the framework here makes sense. The Washington Wizards need to identify centers that are underutilized or undervalued around the NBA and try to trade for them without giving too much future value. Let’s see if the front office agrees.