Ersan Ilyasova, Derrick Williams and, now, Luol Deng have all been brandied about as potential trade targets for the Washington Wizards. Let me throw one more name in the hat, Chris Bosh.
Bosh’s name hasn’t been linked to any trade talk involving the Wizards and their No.3 overall pick to date, but seeing how such a scenario benefits both teams — a rarity in most NBA trades — it should.
While the Miami Heat did defend their championship, it was more so in spite of Bosh’s performance than because of it. Yes, Bosh was involved in the series altering play that saw Ray Allen save the Heat from what appeared to be certain defeat in Game 6, but his play throughout the playoffs was timid and inconsistent. This was showcased in Game 7 when, in the biggest game of his career, Bosh put up a goose egg in the scoring column.
With LeBron James set to test free agency next season, Miami’s President Pat Riley is going to have to be proactive to keep him. Dwyane Wade and Bosh drew LeBron to Miami in 2010 but, with Wade’s troublesome knees and Bosh’s inconsistency, they won’t keep LeBron from taking his talents elsewhere in 2014.
For this reason, Miami should consider dealing Bosh. With Bosh’s trade value probably being lower than his actual value right now, Miami isn’t going to get a reasonable haul for Bosh in a player-for-player trade. This makes trading Bosh for draft picks and players the best possible way to garner comparable assets.
Enter the Wizards.
Washington possesses the draft capital and expiring contracts (Trevor Ariza and/or Emeka Okafor) that would interest Miami in any Bosh trade. In Okafor, Miami would get a player capable of rebounding and protecting the basket — two things Bosh, a “power” forward, wasn’t too proficient at.
The jewel in this proposed trade though is who Miami could get with Washington’s first-round pick. As I noted in a previous article, Nerlens Noel’s draft stock is falling and he is likely to be available when Washington picks.
While Noel is both raw offensively and still recovering from ACL surgery, his shot-blocking and rebounding would address Miami’s weaknesses the moment he is cleared to play. Furthermore, with Bosh gone and Okafor’s contract expiring, Miami would possess the cap flexibility in the 2014 offseason to acquire another star player to form a new “Big 3” all while having a potential fourth member in Noel.
Still, for all his faults Bosh is a better player than he showed with Miami and his acquisition would be a coup for the Wizards.
While Washington wouldn’t suddenly become championship contenders with Bosh, they would easily qualify for the playoffs and have an outside shot at beating out the two New York teams for home-court advantage in the first-round of the playoffs. (Let’s be real, the Indiana Pacers and Chicago Bulls, with Derrick Rose back, will fight it out for the No. two and three seeds, and we all know who the top spot will go to.)
Washington becomes relevant again and Miami stays on the right side of LeBron’s next “The Decision”, it’s a win-win for both teams. All the reason for old friends Riley and Wizards’ GM Ernie Grunfeld to reconnect and discuss this trade.