Identifying the Ideal 2017 NBA Trade Deadline Target for Each Team
Every NBA team has something to aim for during trade season.
They're all seeking ways to improve their standing before the Feb. 23 deadline, though some are wishing for pingpong balls and others are trying to win a championship.
For all the organizations that should be targeting a specific player, a handful of others must go down more unorthodox routes. Maybe their ideal target is simply the patience to play out the entire season with the current roster. Maybe they're looking for a taker who will help them offload one of their overpaid contributors.
But everyone has something to strive for.
Atlanta Hawks: Norman Powell
The Atlanta Hawks have already moved Kyle Korver to the Cleveland Cavaliers. And even though they're pulling Paul Millsap off the trade block (for now), per Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, they're still interested in moving Tim Hardaway Jr., as reported by ESPN.com's Zach Lowe.
Bolstered by their excellent defense, the Hawks are moving up in the Eastern Conference. But they still should be sellers by the deadline, understanding they can't compete with the Cavaliers and Toronto Raptors for supremacy in their half of the NBA.
As soon as that realization comes to pass, the floodgates should open. And when they do, the Hawks must target a young player with two-way upside to aid their stable of wings.
Norman Powell is the perfect example, shining in limited minutes for the Raptors as he locks down his assignments and hits some timely threes. He also plays for an organization that should be interested in Millsap, which we'll get to later.
Boston Celtics: Kris Humphries
The Boston Celtics need help on the glass, and not just because that's the one distinct weakness to Al Horford's all-around game.
As a whole, they're hauling in just 73.9 percent of the available defensive boards, which outpaces the Raptors for the Association's worst mark. Head coach Brad Stevens can live with this flaw in most situations. But his average heart rate would drop significantly if he had a player who could sub in during critical possessions and prevent second-chance opportunities.
We're talking about someone like Kris Humphries, who is playing only sporadic minutes for the Hawks but is demonstrating—as he always has—that he can thrive on the defensive glass. His jump-shooting ability and penchant for creating his own second-chance looks serve as gravy.
Boston could dangle a first-round pick and go after a bigger target—here's looking at you, DeMarcus Cousins—but acquiring a low-level player for virtually nothing is the more realistic path.
Brooklyn Nets: Anyone with Upside
How many players on the Brooklyn Nets roster can reasonably be viewed as long-term building blocks?
Jeremy Lin has been solid while healthy, but he's already 28 years old and possesses limited upside. Ditto for the 28-year-old Brook Lopez, who will be moving out of his prime by the time this organization is ready to compete for a playoff berth.
We still haven't seen enough from Caris LeVert to know if he qualifies, and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (broken jumper), Isaiah Whitehead (only good on defense) and Bojan Bogdanovic (only good on offense) don't seem to possess much potential star power.
The Nets desperately need to find hope, even if that means dealing any one of the aforementioned players. Without the luxury of an early pick as a reward for their season of misery—they owe yet another selection swap to the Celtics—taking advantage of a talent-starved team at the deadline is their best bet.
Charlotte Hornets: Raul Neto
Bleacher Report's Dan Favale picked Raul Neto as the ideal trade target for the Charlotte Hornets, citing the team's lack of depth at point guard as his rationale in early December:
Signing Ramon Sessions and bringing back Brian Roberts seemed like a good idea for the Charlotte Hornets. They lost Jeremy Lin in free agency and needed more options at point guard behind Kemba Walker.
Neither Sessions nor Roberts has been very good, though. The former is shooting under 25 percent from deep, and the latter doesn't get playing time. Charlotte's offense craters whenever one of them is on the floor.
That hasn't changed. Thus, Neto remains the target.
The Utah Jazz floor general is by no means a glamorous player, but he's capable of providing efficient offense and avoiding mistakes while doing more than just holding his own defensively. At the very least, he should be able to spark more success than either Sessions or Roberts has in Walker's stead.
It may not seem like Neto would move the needle much. But if he can fix what remains a glaring hole, he'd make Charlotte far more dangerous.
Chicago Bulls: Brandon Knight
The Chicago Bulls need another point guard—ideally, one who can shoot.
While Brandon Knight has struggled immensely with the Phoenix Suns—knocking down just 39.2 percent of his field-goal attempts and 35 percent of his triples—he's well worth a flier. Not only should the Suns be willing to trade him for pennies on the dollar as they try to clear space for Tyler Ulis, but he's also only 25 years old and has produced better offensive seasons in the past.
Conversely, Chicago's point guards just can't score right now.
Rajon Rondo, whether he's starting or coming off the pine, is averaging 6.9 points on even worse percentages. Michael Carter-Williams still hasn't fixed his broken jumper, and Jerian Grant is hitting only 31.5 percent of his triples.
The Bulls need to create some semblance of space for Jimmy Butler and Dwyane Wade, and Knight might be the best (relatively cheap) option on the blocks.
Cleveland Cavaliers: Continuity
The Cavaliers have already made one splashy move by acquiring Kyle Korver. Now, it's time to sit back and watch the trade pay off while building continuity.
As much as the team (read: LeBron James) might feel it needs another point guard and/or big body, it's better to build internally. Kyrie Irving isn't going anywhere, and Kay Felder should continue his development as he bounces between the NBA D-League and main roster.
This team is already a dominant outfit, and messing with chemistry is a dangerous game as it attempts to successfully defend its title. Panicking because January has started in less than ideal fashion is a short-sighted move that may backfire during the more important months of the NBA calendar.
This Cleveland roster is fine as it is.*
Dallas Mavericks: A 1st-Round Pick
This Dallas Mavericks team is not going to climb out of the abyss anytime soon.
Even during January, which has seen it play vastly improved basketball, it's on the wrong end of a minus-0.8 net rating. That's not indicative of a rise into playoff positioning no matter how many good feelings better play may inspire when compared to earlier exploits.
Much as it may pain owner Mark Cuban, he has to push his organization to sell at the deadline. It's not tanking so much as an acceptance of the inevitable and a willingness to improve the franchise's future fortunes.
If that means trading Wesley Matthews, do it. If that means giving up on Andrew Bogut, that should be a no-brainer. Ditto for the youngsters with limited ceilings such as Justin Anderson and Dorian Finney-Smith, even though the latter has served as a rare bright spot.
The Mavericks need more draft picks, because those lead to shots at high-upside players to pair with Harrison Barnes in preparation for the post-Dirk Nowitzki era.
Denver Nuggets: Paul Millsap
Nikola Jokic looks like he's solving the Denver Nuggets' star-power problems internally, thriving as he establishes himself on a national stage and racks up plenty of points and assists. But for this squad to elevate out of the "playoff hopefuls" category and into "playoff locks," it needs more.
Consolidation in the Mile High City has been necessary for a while now.
Denver has too many mid-level pieces and young contributors but not enough legitimate, game-changing stars. You need the latter to win in today's NBA, and the Nuggets have yet to package the right prospects and draft picks in an attempt to acquire one.
That's where Paul Millsap comes in.
Denver flirted with him before (ESPN.com's Brian Windhorst reported it almost traded for him at last year's deadline), and the overtures shouldn't end now. If the team is willing to give Atlanta a sizable return, pairing Millsap with Jokic would improve the Nuggets on both sides and put an end to their rim-protection problems.
Detroit Pistons: Lou Williams
The Detroit Pistons need one more player who can create for his teammates and drain plenty of three-point bombs.
Even though they run head coach Stan Van Gundy's four-out, one-in scheme—which helps facilitate more three-point looks as the defense collapses around a big man—they've been one of the league's least successful collections of snipers. Only the Bulls are making fewer triples per game, and Mo-Town sits at No. 25 in three-point percentage.
Lou Williams, meanwhile, has made 37.1 percent of his treys while lofting 5.1 per contest—more than anyone on the Detroit roster other than Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. Add in his distributing ability—even if he's not often asked to serve as a pass-first player for the Los Angeles Lakers—and he could be an ideal fit.
Detroit entered the year with lofty aspirations, but it sits well below .500 and outside the East's playoff picture. Adding Sweet Lou to a bench that ranks No. 24 in offensive efficiency, per HoopsStats.com, could do wonders.
Golden State Warriors: Keep It Simple, Stupid
Why would the Golden State Warriors change anything?
Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry are still working to build chemistry for the inevitable postseason run, and making any moves would disrupt that process. The starting lineup is dominant, and the bench has contributed nicely, especially with David West playing well and Ian Clark exploding on offense.
So, again: Why would the Warriors change anything?
Houston Rockets: Stand Pat
Yes, the Houston Rockets have the same ideal target as the Warriors: patience.
This team is already rolling with James Harden thriving as the orchestrator of head coach Mike D'Antoni's offense. The bearded guard has thrust himself into the MVP conversation by averaging 28.7 points, 8.3 rebounds and a league-best 11.7 assists, and even those numbers might sell him short.
After all, he's made everyone around him so much better.
Without Harden's exploits, Eric Gordon wouldn't be in the Sixth Man of the Year race; Ryan Anderson wouldn't be lighting up the scoreboards from downtown; Patrick Beverley wouldn't have developed into one of the league's most dangerous two-way players, free to utilize his excessive energy reserves as a spot-up shooter and terrifying defender; and Clint Capela wouldn't look so good as a roll man.
Changing the structure of this team would be foolish—even minor additions could throw a wrench in the well-laid plans.
As a modification of the saying goes, don't fix what ain't broken.
Indiana Pacers: A Monta Ellis Believer
It's been a season to forget for Monta Ellis.
The 2-guard has averaged a meager 8.7 points, 2.9 rebounds and 3.3 assists while shooting 43.9 percent from the field and 27.6 percent from downtown. Though he's having his second consecutive above-average campaign on defense—this time under head coach Nate McMillan's supervision—he's also exposed the Indiana Pacers' dire need for more shooting.
We're not just talking about someone who's merely proficient from beyond the arc, but rather someone who specializes in three-point sniping and can open the floor for Paul George and Jeff Teague's drives into the paint.
The Oklahoma City Thunder's Anthony Morrow could be an ideal target if they're willing to take Ellis away from Indiana, especially if the Pacers are also amenable to accepting Kyle Singler's deal in the swap. Calling the Lakers about Nick Young or Lou Williams could be another option, as could seeing what the Orlando Magic want for Jodie Meeks.
But so long as the Pacers can find someone who'd help them rise out of the No. 26 spot in triples per game, he'd inevitably be a better fit than Ellis.
Los Angeles Clippers: Hold the Course
It would be easy for the Los Angeles Clippers to panic.
And without those two superstars on the court, everything falls apart in the Staples Center: According to NBAwowy.com, LAC has only managed a minus-6.6 net rating without both Paul and Griffin.
But it should still hold steady.
The Clippers had a strong enough start to the year that they aren't in any danger of falling out of the postseason, and Griffin's return will provide a tangible boost. So long as both studs are healthy for the playoffs, the Clippers will remain capable of hanging with anyone in the Western Conference—the Warriors potentially serving as the lone exception.
Los Angeles Lakers: More Picks
If teams come calling about any of the veterans on the Lakers roster, general manager Mitch Kupchak should listen intently and then pull the trigger. Moving pieces such as Timofey Mozgov (if they can find a taker for his salary), Luol Deng (if he's healthy), Lou Williams and Nick Young would have multiple benefits.
First, the obvious: Something would have to come back in return, likely in the form of more draft picks to add to the coffers. The Lakers need to take every possible gamble on high-upside players to pair with D'Angelo Russell and Brandon Ingram.
Beyond that, Los Angeles would open up minutes for the aforementioned youngsters. It would also be able to hand more run to Ivica Zubac and Larry Nance Jr. (when healthy). Trial by fire can often be beneficial so long as players are allowed to learn from their mistakes.
Further still, the Lakers only retain this year's first-round pick if they have one of the top-three selections. And given the loaded nature of this upcoming draft class, ensuring the best odds on that front can only help.
Trading veterans for picks (and losses) is a no-brainer.
Memphis Grizzlies: Nick Young
The Memphis Grizzlies are finally starting to make triples. They rank No. 18 in three-pointers per game and No. 22 in three-point percentage. That's enough improvement to allow for focus on a new flaw, even if there's still room for improvement.
Memphis' treys come in efficient fashion and are generally created when someone provides a high-quality feed, but it needs a wing player who can score off the bounce.
Mike Conley isn't enough.
That's why it would behoove the Grizzlies to look at someone such as Nick Young, who's not only capable of drilling triples (42 percent shooting on 6.8 attempts per game), but has also proved in prior seasons that he can create his own looks. Though he's been more reliant on setup passes in 2016-17, he's only needed assists on 84.4 percent of his long-range buckets prior to this campaign.
If the Lakers are willing to sell some of their pieces and he can be had for cheap, Memphis should pounce.
Miami Heat: A Buyer for Goran Dragic
Goran Dragic just keeps rolling for the Miami Heat, and he's now averaging 19.0 points, 3.9 rebounds and 6.4 assists during his resurgent season. Better still, he's doing so while shooting 45.7 percent from the field, 39.2 percent from beyond the arc and 81.0 percent at the charity stripe.
But the Slovenian point guard's efforts are all going to waste: When he's on the floor, the Heat are being outscored by 5.5 points per 100 possessions.
Dragic will celebrate his 31st birthday in May, and he'll then move into the period of a career that sees so many point guards begin drastic declines. It's better that Miami gets something for him now rather than letting him waste away on a non-competitive team.
By the time these Heat are ready to compete for a title, Dragic will be a liability—or, at least, a distinctly less promising piece. So instead of waiting, they need to shop him around and hope someone is willing to give something substantial in return.
Milwaukee Bucks: P.J. Tucker
Imagine how deadly the Milwaukee Bucks would become if they had a two-way presence join Giannis Antetokounmpo on the wings.
Jabari Parker is on the verge of competing for an All-Star berth, but he's still a defensive liability. And until Khris Middleton returns (whether that's late in this season or at the beginning of 2017-18), the rest of the players who flank Antetokounmpo at shooting guard, small forward and power forward are one-way commodities.
Acquiring P.J. Tucker could ease Antetokounmpo's responsibilities, allowing him to focus primarily on one facet of the game at a time rather than doing everything all at once.
The Suns small forward has always been a strong rebounder and defender. He hasn't shot the ball well in 2016-17, but the Bucks could hope that changes while surrounded by more offensive talent and players who drag defenders away from the perimeter.
If not Tucker, though, another three-and-D candidate would do just fine.
Minnesota Timberwolves: Wesley Matthews
The world got to see what Wesley Matthews can still do on defense when he was matched up against Damian Lillard with the final buzzer quickly approaching. He ended the Dec. 21 victory for his Mavericks by locking down his former teammate, moving seamlessly as he hounded him from the half-court stripe to the three-point arc and forcing him into a contested jumper that harmlessly fell to the hardwood.
That play might have taken place a few weeks ago, but it's still memorable. After all, that's what the Minnesota Timberwolves need.
The defense is slowly coming together under head coach Tom Thibodeau, learning the nuances of his complicated schemes and reliance on icing pick-and-rolls. But the Wolves still lack a designated stopper, as Zach LaVine is invisible on defense, and Andrew Wiggins is terribly inconsistent.
If it's willing to send Ricky Rubio (who is on the block, per The Vertical's Adrian Wojnarowski) to a point guard-hungry team, Minnesota should be able to get its hands on such a player.
And of the ones who might be available, Matthews is the best of the bunch thanks to his two-way prowess.
New Orleans Pelicans: Will Barton
The New Orleans Pelicans have already reached out to the Nuggets, per ESPN.com's Chris Haynes. And though nothing came of those late-December inquiries, they should keep pressing, hoping Denver falls in love with Gary Harris and Jamal Murray as the rotation 2-guards while deeming Will Barton expendable.
Oleh Kosel explained for The Bird Writes:
Barton would be a solid addition in [head coach Alvin] Gentry’s desired pace and space strategy. He is a high energy player who can not only finish above the rim but also drain a long three-pointer. His playmaking skills are to the point that head coach Mike Malone considered him apt to initiate the offense during preseason, and reportedly his defense is improving.
The Pelicans are creeping up the defensive rating leaderboard behind Anthony Davis and his cohorts. They sit at No. 7 on the year, and their efforts since Jan. 1 leave them trailing only the Clippers and Philadelphia 76ers.
The offense, however, has become utterly anemic.
Davis (29 points per game) desperately needs another secondary scorer. As it stands, Jrue Holiday (13.9) and Terrence Jones (10.7) are his only teammates averaging double figures.
New York Knicks: K.J. McDaniels
The New York Knicks don't have many pieces to offer.
They have to hold onto their primary draft picks in an effort to rebuild...eventually. Carmelo Anthony won't be waiving his no-trade clause, per The Vertical's Adrian Wojnarowski, which means he's sticking on the roster no matter what. Young players such as Willy Hernangomez and Mindaugas Kuzminskas should be untouchable.
And that leaves little to offer, except for nondescript role players and second-round selections.
Targeting K.J. McDaniels would be the perfect solution so long as the Rockets are willing to play along. The former second-round pick has suited up in only 22 games this season for a grand total of 192 minutes. He's been relegated to garbage-time duties—if even that on some nights.
But he hasn't lost his defensive intensity and athleticism-aided upside, which makes him an ideal buy-low candidate for the Knicks.
Oklahoma City Thunder: Terrence Ross
Bleacher Report's Vytis Lasaitis listed Terrence Ross as a potential trade target for the Thunder, and his reasoning is intriguing:
The Toronto Raptors' Terrence Ross is perhaps the least enticing name on this list, but he does possess a lot of what the Thunder lack. He is shooting a career-high 39.4 percent from three-point range and is the youngest out of these potential targets at 25.
Ross hasn't made a stride since his sophomore season, but he is a terrific athlete who excels in transition. His ability to run the floor and shoot would slot well in OKC's starting lineup where he could feast on the abundance of open looks created by Westbrook's drives. Ross could also get to the basket when defenders close out hard.
Ross may be a lackluster defender and won't ever take over a game, but his athleticism and inside-out offensive ability would ease the burden Russell Westbrook is shouldering on a nightly basis. Imagine, if you will, Westbrook running the floor in transition and kicking the ball out to a knockdown shooter such as Ross instead of Andre Roberson.
If that doesn't sell you, nothing will.
Orlando Magic: A Jeff Green Buyer
Handing Jeff Green a one-year deal worth $15 million was a bad idea.
But the Magic are now stuck with the disappointing forward's salary, even though he's helping the team go from bad to worse when on the floor:
|Offensive Rating||Defensive Rating||Net Rating|
Despite his awe-inspiring athleticism, Green has struggled immensely on defense. That, compounded with his woeful shooting and inability to produce many more assists than turnovers, has made him one of the NBA's least valuable players.
If general manager Rob Hennigan can get even a second-round pick from a team thinking it can turn Green's career around (or use him to get to the salary floor), he should do so without hesitation.
Philadelphia 76ers: Brandon Knight
Point guards are necessary.
The 76ers are learning how to win in 2017, achieving victory in five of their first seven games since the calendar flipped to January. But that success won't be sustainable if the offense can't get going, and the offense can't get going without a point guard to run the show.
T.J. McConnell and Sergio Rodriguez are good options—but only if we're talking about backups and third-stringers. Without Jerryd Bayless, Philly has a massive void in the starting lineup, and that's putting too much pressure on Joel Embiid to create his own looks.
Whoever's name pops up on the trading blocks, the Sixers should pursue. If that's Brandon Knight or Ricky Rubio, great. If it's a lesser player, that works too.
Positional talent is needed—but only if it can be acquired without mortgaging the future, since Ben Simmons is coming back eventually, and the 2017 draft class is stocked with elite 1-guards.
Phoenix Suns: Buyers, Buyers and More Buyers
Brandon Knight? Ship him off to the highest bidder and let Tyler Ulis assume the vacated minutes.
P.J. Tucker? Let him move to a contender and open up his role for TJ Warren. They both have abbreviated first names, so head coach Earl Watson might not even notice.*
Tyson Chandler? Let him play defense for a competitive team and see what you have in Alex Len, Marquese Chriss and Dragan Bender working together as a three-man frontcourt rotation.
The Suns have no need for those veterans as they continue to flounder away at the bottom of the Western Conference standings. It's time to fully commit to the rebuild and acquire even more assets for the future.
*No offense meant, Earl.
Portland Trail Blazers: Tyson Chandler
As ESPN.com's Marc Stein reported, the Portland Trail Blazers have already shown interest in acquiring Tyson Chandler from the Suns:
Word is Portland, of late, has been tracking Tyson Chandler as a potential trade target, since the Phoenix center could certainly help the Blazers with their defensive issues.
Chandler, 34, has two seasons left on his contract after this season valued at $26.5 million, but it remains to be seen how willing the Suns are to part with their interior anchor after Chandler encouraged the club to resist outside trade interest last summer.
This move would make plenty of sense so long as the asking price doesn't rise too high.
Portland doesn't need help with interior defense per se; it already allows opponents to shoot just 50.2 percent at the rim, which is the No. 5 score in the league.
It does, however, need big-time help on the glass.
Chandler remains a game-changing rebounder, and he'd surely help fix the team's board-grabbing woes—the Blazers rank just No. 24 in offensive rebounding percentage and No. 20 in the defensive counterpart.
Sacramento Kings: Any Buyer
Even if the Sacramento Kings are within shouting distance of a Western Conference playoff spot, they can't take the bait.
The postseason would be more pyrite than gold for the perpetually rebuilding franchise, encouraging it to make short-sighted moves rather than actually building a contender around DeMarcus Cousins.
That's doubly true now that Rudy Gay has gone down with what's likely a torn left Achilles, per ESPN.com's Marc Stein. The devastating injury effectively ends what was a strong season for him and throws the Kings into flux, seeing as they've been outscored by 9.2 points per 100 possessions without the small forward on the floor.
Selling is necessary. Holding tight is OK.
Buying would be foolish.
We're not advocating the Kings test the waters with Cousins, who they now plan on extending for at least $200 million this offseason, according to CSN Bay Area's James Ham. But they should see if anyone is willing to take Darren Collison, Matt Barnes, Anthony Tolliver or Garrett Temple off their hands.
Something—anything, really—for the future is better than the limited stockpile of long-term assets they currently boast.
San Antonio Spurs: Nikola Mirotic
The San Antonio Spurs aren't often in the habit of making midseason trades that significantly alter their rotation. Instead, the organizational philosophy involves riding with its current players and fine-tuning the schemes until the team turns into a juggernaut by the time April rolls around.
But if the Spurs are going to do anything before the trade deadline, they'll inevitably pick up a struggling player at a discount, then turn him into a quality contributor.
This year's best candidate? Nikola Mirotic, who is averaging only 9.4 points and 5.5 rebounds for the Bulls while shooting 38.9 percent from the field and 31.7 percent from downtown. If Chicago tires of Mirotic's shooting slump and wants to give more minutes to Bobby Portis and the squad's other frontcourt players, San Antonio should be interested.
And if San Antonio trades for him, Mirotic will inevitably start making 45 percent of his triples and 55 percent of his field-goal attempts.
That's just life for San Antonio.
Toronto Raptors: Paul Millsap
Let's turn to what DeMarre Carroll said about Paul Millsap, his former teammate with the Hawks, after the Kyle Korver trade to the Cavaliers. Per Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun:
Paul is the most unselfish all-star you probably would ever find. He's always been a team player, he always fills the stat-sheet. If he wanted to, he could go up and get 30 points (a night) and get up 20 shot games. He tries to do whatever it takes to help the team win. That's why so many people want him right now because you can just plug him in and he's not just going to be that selfish guy that's just trying to get numbers. He's going to be that guy to try to help you win games and hopefully bring home a championship.
The way … when they just traded Kyle, (just) me thinking? Nah, I don't think he'll finish (the season in Atlanta). Making that trade, Kyle, it says they are going to go in a different direction.
If Millsap is put back on the block, perhaps the two could be reunited. They thrived together during Atlanta's 60-win campaign two years ago, and there's no reason to think they couldn't do so once more.
Patrick Patterson and Pascal Siakam have formed a solid rotation at the 4 for the Raptors, and Jared Sullinger debuted Wednesday night against the 76ers.
But Millsap is a different beast.
Utah Jazz: Stay the Course
Moves would be foolish for the Jazz, unless they're offloading some of their excessive depth for draft picks.
They have enough talent at every position to compete for a top spot in the Western Conference. Rudy Gobert and Gordon Hayward are legitimate All-Star candidates, and everyone surrounding them can contribute in a positive fashion.
The Jazz have outscored opponents by 5.6 points per 100 possessions this season, which leaves them trailing only the Warriors, Spurs, Raptors, Rockets and Clippers. That's not bad company for a team that's had to overcome plenty of injuries while growing together.
Now, Utah just needs to avoid overplaying its hand.
Washington Wizards: Tim Hardaway Jr.
According to NBA.com, the Washington Wizards bench has been nothing short of an unmitigated disaster:
|Offensive Rating (Rank)||Defensive Rating (Rank)||Net Rating (Rank)|
|101.2 (No. 25)||110.0 (No. 30)||Minus-8.8 (No. 30)|
Actually, "unmitigated disaster" may be underselling the woes.
No one player is going to fix Washington's second unit, and Tim Hardaway Jr. certainly won't solve the defensive issues. However, he could at least provide some firepower for the measly cost of a second-round pick.
Hardaway is a streaky shooter, but he's capable of creating his own looks and scoring from anywhere in the half-court set. That's something the Wizards sorely lack: No bench player on the roster averages more than Marcus Thornton's 6.6 points.
John Wall, Bradley Beal, Otto Porter, Markieff Morris and Marcin Gortat can't carry this team for 48 minutes every night. They need at least a little help.
Adam Fromal covers the NBA for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter: @fromal09.