With the 2024 trade deadline only five weeks away, the NBA world is focused on potential transactions and trade rumors. Plenty of these scenarios focus on the Washington Wizards, who have several veterans who could attract the interest of playoff-hopeful teams. Considering that the Wizards are in the midst of a long rebuild, it behooves them to make future-focused moves, amassing draft picks and young players. A part of this strategy should be targeting young players who aren't playing on their current teams but could have value to the Wizards. If Washington can buy low on players with some upside, it could pay dividends for them.
Zach Buckley of the Bleacher Report identified two intriguing names for the Washington Wizards in his latest piece. After going through all 30 teams in the league listing their top 3 trade targets at the deadline, Buckley named Davion Mitchell of the Sacramento Kings and Jarace Walker of the Indiana Pacers as potential options for the Washington Wizards. Both of these players fit the buy-low and high-upside criteria mentioned above.
Jarace Walker might be hard to acquire but would fit well in Washington
Interestingly, Jarace Walker was technically the Washington Wizards' 8th-overall selection in the 2023 NBA Draft, before being traded for Bilal Coulibaly, who the Pacers drafted with the prior pick. Despite the Pacers desperately needing his defensive and athletic skill set, Walker failed to crack the rotation so far. Plus, there is constant reporting that Indiana is trying to trade for a forward, potentially pushing Walker further down in the depth chart.
If the Pacers have an interest in trading for Kyle Kuzma, a trade package including Jarace Walker makes a lot of sense for both teams. Walker could find a significant role in Washington, even starting as the power forward.
Davion Mitchell next to Jordan Poole is intriguing
Davion Mitchell, on the other hand, would be much easier to acquire for Washington. After having two successful seasons as De'Aaron Fox's backup in Sacramento, Mitchell has fallen out of favor, playing only 13 minutes per game this season. His inability to shoot as an undersized guard makes him a difficult fit in a lot of lineups, especially next to Fox and Domantas Sabonis.
However, Mitchell is one of the best defenders of his position. He is tough, smart, and strong, earning the nickname Off-Night due to his ability to shut down the best player on the opposing team. He could be an excellent fit next to Jordan Poole in Washington, taking on the toughest assignments on defense. With his intensity, effort, and discipline, he could be a tone-setter for the team on the defensive end.
The Wizards' front office's trade deadline priorities remain to be seen. Whether they want to completely tear down or whether they prefer draft picks or young players is unknown. Regardless of their strategy, giving a second chance to young players who failed in their previous teams is a good approach. Jarace Walker and Davion Mitchell certainly fit that bill.