The trade deadline is two months away, and starting December 15, players who signed contracts last offseason will be eligible for trades. This will open up the trade market, as contenders look to load up on talent while lottery teams will try to move their valuable players for future assets. The Washington Wizards will likely be an active participant in the market, and the latest reporting suggests that they may have their eyes set on two specific players.
One of the teams that have plenty of players who should attract interest from the rest of the league is the Chicago Bulls. As one of the most underwhelming teams of the season, the 8-14 Chicago Bulls are widely expected to be sellers at the trade deadline; with players like Alex Caruso, Demar Derozan, Zach Lavine, and Patrick Williams being of particular interest to NBA teams. According to Sam Amico of HoopsWire, the Washington Wizards could be one of those teams.
""Meanwhile, the Bulls reportedly continue to make guard Alex Caruso off-limits. It is believed the Lakers have an interest in bringing him back. The Wizards are also believed to be interested in Caruso and/or Bulls big man Patrick Williams.""- Sam Amico, HoopsWire
This is a rather surprising report. The Washington Wizards are 3-17 and in the very early stages of a long rebuilding process. The trade deadline assumption for them is to be sellers, not buyers. Therefore, them being linked to two players that they would need to give up assets for is unexpected.
Could Williams and Caruso help the Wizards? Absolutely.
Caruso is one of the best perimeter defenders in the NBA, and Williams is only 22 and has the physical tools to be a good two-way wing.
However, plenty of contenders will presumably be interested in Caruso, and it will likely take at least a first-round pick to acquire him. Williams, on the other hand, could be more gettable as he is having another disappointing season. Plus, his contract is expiring and he will likely require a hefty, long-term deal in the offseason.
If the price for acquiring Williams is a reasonable one, it could be a worthy gamble for the Wizards. He has the size and the skillset as a defense-first forward that Washington could use.
The same can't be said about Caruso. He is a 29-year-old injury-prone player who doesn't fit Washington's timeline. Considering how much it will take to lure him away from Chicago, the Wizards may be better suited if they keep their powder dry.
Targeting young, buy-low candidates like Patrick Williams is an intriguing strategy for the Wizards. It will be fascinating to see if the new front office is able to bring in any low-risk, high-reward prospects at the deadline.