It’s safe to say this isn’t where the Wizards expected to be.
However, after starting 7-12 in the team’s first 19 games, expectations have shifted for the franchise.
Rumors have begun circulating that any player on the roster, including Wall and Beal, are available, which is a far cry from a team that was hoping to keep its core together to compete deeper into the playoffs.
While all hope is not lost, as the team is currently in the tenth spot in the standings and made the playoffs in recent seasons after a slow start, rumors of a franchise in flux are never a good thing.
In my opinion, I think Washington would be right to trust its gut, and blow the whole thing up.
With a potential high draft pick in hand and what could be a load of cap room if the correct deals were made, the Wizards may be able to turn this thing around sooner rather than later with a new core.
Here’s my proposal:
Essentially, move everyone but Wall.
Ship out Beal for the best combination of role players and draft picks available.
Both Porter, Jr. and Beal actually make more than Wall currently, so nearly $60 million in cap space would free up by ridding yourself of those deals.
With a number of expiring deals already on the roster, that would leave the 2019-2020 Wizards looking like this:
G John Wall
G/F Troy Brown, Jr.
That would leave Washington with 12 open roster spots and about 65% of its cap space available.
Now, here comes the off season dreaming:
- With one of your either acquired or already owned high draft picks, land one of the Duke stars (Fs Zion Williamson & R.J. Barrett or G Cam Reddish). Each of those players compliments Wall in their ability to run the fast break offense. In our scenario, lets say the Wizards bottom out, and land one of the top picks in the draft. Landing a player like Zion Williamson gives Washington a premier player to pair with Wall, creating their own little version of “Lob City.”
- Nail your latter first round picks/second round picks. With the aforementioned acquired picks from the trades of Beal, Oubre and Porter, Jr., the team has to find latter pick steals, such as Lakers’ F Kyle Kuzma. Value can be found in the latter picks of the draft, and it will be imperative for the Wizards to find one of those players.
- Here’s the key to the turnaround: sign F Kevin Durant. Yes, it would be less money than Golden State could offer. However, D.C. is Durant’s hometown/hometown team, and there has always been rumored interest in him returning to the East Coast. With things seemingly going a little sour out in California, Durant could switch gears and come East to form a new Big 3 with Wall and whichever young star the team is able to draft.
- After those moves, filling out the roster becomes easy. The team will need a rebounder at center, a number of 3-and-D wing players, and a couple stretch fours. The team could likely retain Fs Markieff Morris and Jeff Green at a lesser cap hit than what they are making currently. In free agency, the team could find a number of potential fits, including:
- G/F Tyreke Evans
- G Spencer Dinwiddie
- G Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
- F Harrison Barnes
- C Marc Gasol
- G Jeremy Lamb
- G/F Rodney Hood
- C DeMarcus Cousins
- C Brook Lopez
- G/F Mario Hezonja
And that’s just to name a few. Obviously, some of those names may cost more than others, but you could certainly add a few of those names to a new-look roster that would certainly be better than what Washington is currently throwing out on the floor.
The point is: it may be easier to fix this mess than currently thought. It could be as easy as just waving a wand.