The Washington Wizards got off to a hot start last season before fizzling out and falling just short of the playoffs. With Bradley Beal appearing likely to re-sign with the team this offseason, the goal will once again be to build a strong enough roster around their star player to find more success in the immediate future.
One likely goal will be to upgrade the point guard position, finding a more capable starter to pair next to Beal in the backcourt.
According to Marc Stein, the Wizards are even open to trading the 10th selection in the 2022 NBA Draft in pursuit of a starting point guard solution. In response to that report, here are three potential point guard trades that could intrigue the Wizards this offseason.
Washington Wizards trade for Devonte’ Graham
- Wizards get: Devonte’ Graham, 2023 first-round pick (via Lakers)
- Pelicans get: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, 10th pick in 2022 NBA Draft
If the Wizards want to add a proven commodity at the point guard position, while still adding a future asset, it’s possible something like the trade above could intrigue the front office. Devonte Graham has shown an ability to be a microwave scorer who can put up points in a hurry.
He may be a bit undersized at 6-foot-1, which makes him a questionable fit in the backcourt next to Beal, but the duo would form an extremely quick pair of ball-handlers allowing the Wizards to play fast. At 27, Graham is what he is, and he won’t improve the team defensively, but at his peak, averaging 18.2 points and 7.5 assists two years ago would be welcome in D.C. There’s just no indication that’s what they’ll get.
For the Wizards, parting with the 10th pick for a player who is solid, but not great shouldn’t move the needle too much. They’re likely better off gambling on the 10th pick becoming a star, even if that doesn’t put more wins on the board right away.
Related: 3 Washington Wizards trade scenarios in the 2022 NBA Draft
Wizards complete trade with T-Wolves for DLo
- Wizards get: D’Angelo Russell
- Timberwolves get: Kyle Kuzma, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
One potential way for the Wizards to hold onto their top pick, while landing a starting point guard is trying to work out a deal with Tim Connelly who recently became the Minnesota Timberwolves team president. D’Angelo Russell is a good friend of Karl-Anthony Towns, which is a big reason why he was brought in. DLo did help the team reach the playoffs this past season, but now as he enters the final year of his contract, there’s some uncertainty surrounding his long-term future in the Twin Cities.
Like Graham, Russell wouldn’t solve any defensive problems the Wizards have, he’s a liability on defense, but not completely. DLo has a high IQ and he can frequently be heard calling out opponent’s offensive sets, he just doesn’t have the physical capabilities to do much damage in containment.
Where DLo thrives is offensively, where he sometimes displays an offensive skill set that reminds viewers of Kyrie Irving. DLo’s handles allow him to have the ball on a string, making incredible passes in the open court, while being able to pull up for the open three or create his own shot if need be. Unfortunately, he’s also inconsistent, which was on full display during his first-round playoff exit against the Memphis Grizzlies.
At his best, DLo is capable of dropping 20 to 30 on a nightly basis, but having to hide him defensively arguably offsets his scoring skills. Still, if the Wizards feel DLo could help, they appear to have the assets Minny would covet.
Related: Washington Wizards: TyTy Washington should be team’s NBA Draft selection
Wizards land Dejounte Murray
- Wizards get: Dejounte Murray
- Spurs get: 10th pick in 2022 NBA Draft, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Ish Smith, 2024 first-round pick
The best player on this trade list, Dejounte Murray would help the Wizards on both ends of the court. Not only would he form a dynamic scoring duo in the backcourt with Beal, but the defensive ability Murray brings make them the perfect pairing.
Murray is a lockdown defender, who’s capable of guarding multiple positions. Like Beal, Murray is adept at picking up sneaky steals by lurking in passing lanes. Murray led the NBA in steals with two swipes per game last season.
Playing the starring role for the Spurs under Gregg Popovich, Murray also finished with a career-high 21.1 points per game last season as he made his first All-Star team.
There’s no strong indication that Murray is available, but after missing the playoffs for the third consecutive season, the Spurs are nowhere close to competing for a championship, it’s possible Murray could be had for the right price. Is the 10th pick, plus a two-way contributor enough to move the needle for the Spurs? Probably not, but it depends on how they view the prospects in the incoming draft class.
For the Wizards, Murray would be an incredible coup, getting a proven player who can help Beal win now, instead of hoping another rookie pans out.
Related: Washington Wizards reportedly targeting Jaden Ivey in NBA Draft: 2 possible trade-up scenarios