It has only been 12 games into the regular season, but since the Washington Wizards’ entire focus is the future, it’s already time to look ahead. And what is more exciting to look ahead to than the trade deadline? It’s the most active transaction window during the season when contenders load up before the playoffs and lottery teams unload their good players in exchange for draft picks and prospects. The trade deadline for this season, February 8, 2024, will be no different, and the Washington Wizards are poised to be active participants in the market. So, let’s make our predictions for what we expect to happen in Washington at this year’s trade deadline.
1. Kyle Kuzma and Jordan Poole will not be traded
The two highest-paid, highest-profile players on the Washington Wizards will surely be mentioned in trade discussions.
Kyle Kuzma, who is in the prime of his career and is having an excellent season on a reasonable contract, should garner plenty of interest around the league. There aren’t too many two-way forwards with the all-around skill set and size of Kuzma in the league, and they don’t go on the trade market too often. Plus, Kuzma has been the heart and soul of the Wizards and a fan favorite in Washington. Having his presence around should be a net positive for the young Wizards. Moreover, getting a deal done will be easier in the offseason due to financial and roster crunch issues. So, keeping Kuzma around until at least the 2024 summer makes more sense.
Poole, on the other hand, might be untradeable on that contract. The way he is playing right now, the Wizards would have to attach multiple draft picks to offload that contract. There is no point in trading him at the nadir of his trade value. Even if he plays better between now and the trade deadline, it’s hard to imagine him rehabbing his value enough to get a decent enough package to make it worth the Wizards’ while. Holding onto him and hoping that he starts playing better is the only option Washington has.