The Washington Wizards haven’t made the NBA Playoffs since 2008, but the expectations in the Nation’s capital are surely through the roof after Friday’s five-player trade with the Phoenix Suns. Wizards general manager Ernie Grunfeld addressed one of the team’s biggest needs and did so without having to give up too much talent.
Washington agreed to send aging, injured and handsomely-paid center Emeka Okafor and a top-12 protected first-round selection in the 2014 NBA Draft in exchange for Marcin Gortat, Shannon Brown, Kendall Marshall, and Malcolm Lee from the Suns. Naturally, the Wizards won the deal in the short-term as Gortat averaged a double-double in 2012 and Okafor’s herniated disk might keep him out of action until December.
Moreover, the draft pick in this deal is rather important as it would be the Suns fourth selection in the 2014 NBA Draft if the Wizards can reach the postseason in 2013. Also, Okafor is owed $14 million this year and will head to free agency once the season comes to a close, which means the Suns can use that money to help further rebuild a depleted organization. This is the type of trade that you look back on in five years and say it worked out for both parties.