Washington Wizards: Top 5 Needs To Consider Before Trade Deadline
Top 5 Needs To Consider Before Trade Deadline: Washington Wizards
The 2014 NBA trade deadline is on Thursday, Feb. 20 at 3:00 p.m. ET. The Washington Wizards have recently been brought up in trade rumors. Washington has many areas that could use improvement, and the Wizards should consider possible trades before the deadline hits.
Washington is currently tied for fourth place in the Eastern Conference with a record of 20-20. Currently, the Wizards are tied with the Toronto Raptors and the Chicago Bulls. The Wizards are currently trying to climb the ranks in the East, and trading to address a position that could use improvement may make the difference in Washington making the playoffs.
The Wizards could use improvement in their starting rotation as well as improvement in their bench rotation. Washington and the Phoenix Suns made a big trade before the season started. The Wizards traded Emeka Okafor and a top 12-protected 2014 first-round draft pick for Marcin Gortat, Shannon Brown, Malcolm Lee and Kendall Marshall. The Wizards waived everyone other than Gortat for financial benefits.
This trade helped the Wizards address their lack of a decent center, but it does not mean that they are completely out of trading chips. Washington has several players with expiring contracts that could be appealing to other franchises. The Wizards also have some veterans that could contribute as role players, meeting some areas that need improvement for other franchises.
The most important goal for Washington this season is to make the playoffs. As the face of the franchise, it is important that John Wall delivers on his promise this season to make the playoffs. The Wizards should be willing to do whatever it takes to help their franchise player. Washington could potentially make it past the first-round but only if they set themselves up with a high seed and home-court advantage during the postseason. The Wizards will need to consider the areas that are in need of improvement before the trade deadline so the team and franchise can prepare for a playoff run.
5. Backup Shooting Guard
The Washington Wizards' starting shooting guard, Bradley Beal, has been fantastic this season and has a bright future in front of him as one of the NBA's premier sharpshooters. Though, when he is injured and out of the rotation, Washington struggles offensively.
Currently, Martell Webster is the only other shooting guard on Washington's depth chart. Webster is originally a small forward, but recent rotation changes have him playing behind Beal at shooting guard. The Wizards could use extra help off the bench for when Beal is on the sideline. A better backup shooting guard would allow Webster to come in more at the small forward position and create more offensive stability for when Beal is not in.
4. More Productive Small Forward
Trevor Ariza is currently starting for the Wizards at small forward. He is currently averaging 13.7 points, 6.1 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.9 steals per game. The small forward position must be able to make plays on both ends of the court. Ariza does have a good offensive and defensive game, but he could use improvement in consistency. Also, at best, Ariza is a 'B' grade small forward. Washington could benefit from the addition or upgrade at small forward.
Ariza is one of those players with an expiring contract that could be attractive to other franchises looking to making a lot of financial moves. So, if the Wizards wanted to trade for a better small forward then Ariza could be traded to make room.
3. Backup Point Guard
The Wizards have one of the best point guards in the NBA, but his backups could be better. I believe Washington has a hard time holding onto leads because of a limited rotation. Washington could benefit from better rotation behind John Wall. Currently, the Wizards' backup point guards are Garrett Temple and Eric Maynor.
Technically, the Wizards are the sixth team that Temple has been on since he entered the league in 2010. Maynor is not getting a lot of playing time this year; he has only played in half of the games this season. Both players have put on C+ performances this season at best. The Wizards could use a dependable backup point guard to strengthen their bench rotation.
2. Backup Center
Washington made a good move in trading for Marcin Gortat. He has been reliable so far and truly complements Nene Hilario. It would be hard to say that the Wizards would be where they are if they didn't get Gortat. Unfortunately, though, Washington does not have a reliable backup big man. Their second string center is Kevin Seraphin who averages 10 minutes per game. In that time, he averages 5.0 points and 2.2 rebounds.
Seraphin has a contract getting ready to expire, and he could be dealt in a trade. Gortat could be in Washington for the next few years, and it is important that the Wizards find the proper backup for him at the center position.
1. Long-Term Productive Power Forward
Nene is currently starting for Washington at power forward. He recently worked his way back into the starting rotation. Nene has been a solid role player for the Wizards, and since the New Year he has played like a rejuvenated man. Unfortunately, though, he has suffered a lot of injuries throughout his career. He has only played one full season during his entire 11-year career. The Wizards need Nene, but on and off injuries have prevented him from always being there.
Also, the Wizards' power forward rotation does have some concern. Fortunately, Washington does have Trevor Booker who has proven to be a reliable role player on both ends of the court. Unfortunately, Washington has Jan Vesely who hasn't shown much growth since the Wizards drafted him in 2011. Also, power forward back p Al Harrington is currently sidelined until late February rehabilitating a knee injury. The Wizards signed Harrington this offseason in free agency, and he can be a productive player if healthy. But he realistically won't be in Washington long.
What the Wizards need is a reliable, productive, healthy and consistent power forward who will be around long-term.