The Washington Wizards continue to be active this offseason, setting their sights on DeJuan Blair. According to ESPN.com's Marc Stein, the Wizards are pursuing a possible sign-and-trade with the Dallas Mavericks:
Wiz have strong DeJuan Blair interest and, according to ESPN sources, in talks to see if sign-&-trade possible before Mavs must renounce him— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 14, 2014
Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News reports on what the Mavs would get in return for Blair:
Hearing the Mavericks will take nothing back from Wizards if they do a S-T with them for DeJuan Blair. Would only help salary for Blair.— Eddie Sefko (@ESefko) July 14, 2014
The Mavericks still have a chance to re-sign Blair, an unrestricted free agent, but ESPNDallas.com's Tim MacMahon believes that Dallas won't be able to afford what he's wanting to get paid:
Mavs moving on from DeJuan Blair is sign he made it clear he wasn't coming back for the minimum. Can get more after quality year in Dallas.— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) July 13, 2014
The 25-year-old was one of the Mavs' consistent bench contributors, averaging 6.4 points and 4.7 rebounds in 15.6 minutes on the floor in 2013-14. His PER of 17.3 helps to illustrate how valuable he was for Dallas last season, so you could understand why he'd be looking to get paid this summer.
Michael Lee of The Washington Post thinks this offers the Wizards a chance to atone for passing up on Blair in the second round of the 2009 NBA draft. The former Pittsburgh standout went five picks after Washington selected Jermaine Taylor:
David J. Smith of Salt City Hoops wonders if this means the end of Trevor Booker in Washington:
DeJuan Blair had a very good season for DAL. Would be a solid bench addition for WAS. Trevor Booker moving on?— David J. Smith (@davidjsmith1232) July 14, 2014
Having two guys backing up Nene doesn't make much sense, and with Booker an unrestricted free agent as well, the Wizards will likely let the 26-year-old move on in the event they add Blair.
Washington has had a successful offseason so far. Although Trevor Ariza signed with the Houston Rockets, per Lee, the Wizards added Paul Pierce, per Stein, and locked up Marcin Gortat for the long term.
Signing Blair wouldn't all of a sudden make the team a title contender, but it strengthens the Wizards bench and ensures they remain competitive in the Eastern Conference.