The Washington Wizards are in the midst of a rebuilding season. It’s already clear that they are going to be at the bottom of the league all season. Wizards fans are aware that the franchise’s focus is on the future rather than the present. Therefore, whatever the results are on the court this season, the primary goal for the organization is to put themselves in the best position to maximize success years down the line. Hence, it makes sense to start thinking about trades and transactions mid-season to help the Wizards achieve that objective.
The Wizards have a few veterans who could help other teams more than they do a young, rebuilding team. Some of these veterans are also on expiring contracts, making them even more attractive trade chips, assuming that the Wizards don’t want to shell out long-term contracts to older players. This list includes Delon Wright, Danilo Gallinari, and Mike Muscala. However, perhaps the most attractive player who fits the bill is point guard Tyus Jones.
Jones’ $14 million per year deal expires after this season. He will be 28 then. He is a valuable player but whether it’s worth it for Washington to give him a multi-year contract next offseason is debatable. This opens him up to be traded before the deadline to give the Wizards more future-focused assets.
One obvious suitor for Jones’ services is the Utah Jazz, who has been struggling with consistent point guard play. Utah has excellent frontcourt depth, but their guards haven’t been able to put them in positions to succeed. That’s where Jones thrives. He would immediately be Utah’s best true point guard and organize their offense.
In return, the Wizards get Talen Horton-Tucker and Omer Yurtseven. Horton-Tucker has struggled with efficiency throughout his career, but he is only 22 years old, and his size and defensive potential could be an intriguing fit next to Jordan Poole. He is strong, can handle the ball, and pass. If he can improve his shooting, he can be a long-term piece for Washington.
Yurtseven is a similarly intriguing piece. He is a legit 7-footer who is still looking for a consistent rotation role. He has shown an exciting ability to score and rebound in his limited minutes in Miami. He can provide much-needed size, strength, and interior presence to the Wizards.
To make it worth Washington’s while, the Jazz would add second-round picks as well. Considering how many extra draft picks Utah has in their coffers, parting ways with multiple second-round picks shouldn’t be too big of an issue for them.
This may not be a massive, dynasty-changing trade for the Washington Wizards. But, they need to be involved in transactions like this to fill their asset cabinet. Taking flyers on undervalued young players and stocking up on draft picks is a smart strategy to that end, even if it means losing a valuable player like Tyus Jones.
Final trade grade: B+