The Washington Wizards are in the midst of a miserable start to the season. Their defense is in shambles and they rank dead last in point differential through five games. One of the main reasons for their defensive struggles is their lack of adequate center depth. The only traditional centers they have on the roster are Daniel Gafford and Mike Muscala. Gafford has been dealing with injuries, and Muscala has been in and out of the rotation, leaving the Wizards with an extremely small and physically underwhelming team.
If they are trying to be a competitive, respectable team this season, the Wizards need to solve their frontcourt depth problem. They have to add more size, physicality, and defensive chops.
Fortunately for them, backup center is perhaps the easiest need to fill in the NBA. Due to many teams resorting to small-ball, there are plenty of centers who are undervalued or underutilized around the league. It would behoove the Wizards to take advantage of this and trade for one of these easily acquirable big men. Let’s take a look at some of their options.
The 25-year-old center from Turkey signed as a free agent with the Utah Jazz this offseason, but he has failed to become a major part of the rotation. After spending two seasons with the Miami Heat, Yurtseven had made a name for himself as an excellent rebounder and finisher around the basket, but he hasn’t been able to fully establish his career just yet. This may be difficult in the crowded frontcourt rotation of the Utah Jazz that includes Walker Kessler, Kelly Olynyk, Lauri Markkanen, and John Collins.
That is why a fresh start with the Washington Wizards could prove useful for Yurtseven. He would have a regular rotation role and consistent minutes. His 6’11 frame with a strong build, combined with his soft touch can be effective against bench units. He is not the most impactful defender as a center due to his athletic and physical limitations. However, his ability to provide size, intensity, and rebounding for a very affordable price would be extremely helpful for a Wizards team struggling to get defensive stops.
Plus, Yurtseven is no stranger to D.C. as he spent his collegiate career at Georgetown University. A return to Washington could help revive his career.