3 Players the Washington Wizards Should Consider Trading
After a sluggish start to the season that saw Flip Saunders lose control of both the locker room and his job, the Wizards would do well to make some moves to help solidify a core around John Wall.
Now that Wittman is set to coach out the rest of the season, it is extremely important that the rookies and young players get as much playing time and experience as possible in order for management to evaluate which players will be viable options for the future.
I will look at four specific players that don’t factor into the Wizards' long-term plans and should at least be on the market for trades.
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This should as no surprise to anyone that follows the NBA in any capacity. Andray Blatche has been the butt of many jokes by fans and sports pundits alike for his maddening inconsistency and off-the-court antics.
Blatche is posting his lowest career averages across the board statistically and has lost his starting job to rookie Jan Vesely since Coach Wittman took over the team.
In the Wizards' most recent win over the Bobcats, Blatche played the lowest minutes on the team and was seen glaring at Wittman after being pulled during a substitution.
Ernie Grunfeld has invested a lot of time and money into the potential that Blatche has flashed throughout his career. However, at this point in the franchise’s rebuild, it is time to cut ties with him sooner rather than later.
Despite this being his seventh season in the league, he is only 25 years old and has the size and ability to become a very good player if a coach can harness his immaturity.
Blatche has been the main topic of trade rumors coming from the Wizards and his departure would be the least surprising move that could take place before the trade deadline.
Another option would be to wait and amnesty Blatche after the season if his trade value is deemed too low to make a move during the year.
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Maurice Evans came to the Wizards late last season as an afterthought in the Kirk Hinrich deal that landed the draft rights to Chris Singleton and now second-year player Jordan Crawford.
To the surprise of Washington fans and management alike, Evans proceeded to play useful minutes for the lowly Wizards last season and was one of the main leaders for the players in the lockout debates.
He has yet to see much playing time this season and has been buried at the bottom of the depth chart.
Evans is the definition of a consummate professional and would provide veteran leadership and reliable bench play for a contending team looking for an extra spark toward a playoff push.
With the shortened fast-paced schedule this season, even small injuries can have a severely adverse affect on a team with so many games packed into the week.
Evans' smart, mistake-free brand of basketball should at least get the Wizards a few offers from teams before the deadline.
He is a player that is hard to root against and I personally hope that he can go to a contending team that would value his services.
Roger Mason Jr.
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Roger Mason was signed to a one-year deal this offseason to provide veteran point guard depth behind John Wall with only rookie Shelvin Mack as the other true point guard on the roster.
Now that Mack has taken sole ownership of the backup point guard minutes with Jordan Crawford, Mason has become the odd man out in the rotation.
Much was made during training camp of the inspired play of Mason in which he came out and said that this was the best shape he had ever been in.
Similar to Evans, Mason has had a workman-like career and would most likely be a viable option for a team looking for point guard depth and three-point shooting.
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While many of you might be wondering why I left Rashard Lewis off the list, his trade value goes up exponentially after the current season.
2012-2013 marks the last season in Lewis’ contract in which he is due nearly $24 million.
The Wizards would be smart to hold onto Lewis this season and use his enormous expiring contract as a valuable trading chip next year for teams looking to get under the more restrictive salary cap created in the new CBA agreement.
This season now serves as an open tryout to everyone on the roster in order to determine which players are going to be part of the team’s future.
Hopefully, Wittman will be able to instill confidence in the team and lead them to a better finish to the season.