The Wizards were one of the only NBA teams not to make a trade during the past week, having done their work on the trade market early when they sent Rui Hachimura to the Lakers last month in exchange for Kendrick Nunn and three second-round picks.
As Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington writes, that doesn’t mean the Wizards weren’t taking or making calls in the days leading up to Thursday’s trade deadline. It sounds as if president of basketball operations Tommy Sheppard would have had interest in adding one more forward for depth purposes, but he said he didn’t want to “slap a band-aid” on any of the team’s needs.
“I’d rather address it in the much bigger picture and that’s something for the summer,” Sheppard said.
Sheppard added that he likes what he has with the Wizards’ current group, pointing out that the team has gone 14-9 since opening the season with an 11-20 record.
“To see this team healthy over the last 23 games is, I think, more of the team we believe in than the previous time,” he said. “… When healthy, this team is pretty good.”
Here’s more on the Wizards:
- Having not taken on any multiyear salary at the deadline, the Wizards believe they’re in good position to re-sign forward Kyle Kuzma in free agency this summer, Hughes writes in another NBC Sports Washington story. Kuzma was viewed earlier in the season as a possible trade candidate, but the Wizards appear prepared to offer him a long-term deal later this year. “He’s obviously still a Wizard. I’m not kidding when I say this, we try to be very informed before we do any decision,” Sheppard said. “… I felt very confident that if we needed to move him because he expressed it or we needed to move it because we didn’t believe him (about his interest in re-signing), we would have done something. We believe in him and I think he believes in us.”
- Josh Robbins of The Athletic considers what the Wizards’ quiet trade deadline means for the team going forward, noting that the front office will have to decide at season’s end whether a roster led by a “big three” of Bradley Beal, Kristaps Porzingis, and Kuzma is capable of contending, since Porzingis and Kuzma will likely be up for new deals. Both have player options for 2023/24, but Kuzma will almost definitely opt out and Porzingis is a strong candidate to do so as well.
- Quenton Jackson‘s new two-way contract with Washington covers two seasons, running through 2023/24, Hoops Rumors has learned. That doesn’t necessarily mean Jackson will remain in that two-way slot for all of next season, but the Wizards will have the opportunity to retain him in that spot until the 2024 offseason, if they so choose.
- In case you missed it, the Wizards and swingman Will Barton are working on a buyout. As Ava Wallace of The Washington Post tweets, if the team does buy out Barton, it would likely promote Jordan Goodwin from his two-way deal to fill the open roster spot.