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Washington Wizards reportedly targeting Jaden Ivey in NBA Draft: 2 possible trade-up scenarios

Jason Burgos
washington wizards, jaden ivey
Credit: USA Today Network

The Washington Wizards are big fans of Purdue guard Jaden Ivey and have reportedly been having serious discussions about trading up in this month’s NBA Draft to land him.

While much of the talk around who is the best player in the 2022 NBA Draft has included Jabari Smith, Jr., Chet Holmgren, and Paulo Banchero, the consensus is that Ivey is the best guard available in this year’s class. He has had interested admirers from all over the league including in Washington. However, the Wizards pick at 10, and Ivey is expected to go no later than fourth to the Sacramento Kings.

It puts the team in a difficult predicament, but NBC Sports Washington contributor Quinton Mayo reported on Thursday that the team is working hard to come up with ideas to get the player they are “really high on.”

Related: Sportsnaut’s NBA mock draft – Predictions for every pick in Round 1 & 2

“Washington’s front office is really high on 6-foot-4 guard, Jaden Ivey out of Purdue,” Mayo wrote on his Substack page. “They’ve spent a significant amount of time discussing possible trade packages to acquire the number four overall pick from Sacramento, Ivey’s assumed draft position, sources tell me. Ivey, 20, regularly pulls comparisons to explosive combo guards Ja Morant and Russell Westbrook.”

Normally, the fourth pick in the draft is a desirable position to have, but with the Kings reportedly open to moving the pick, a deal with the Wizards is plausible. Let’s take a look at a couple of beneficial trade scenarios for both the Kings and Wizards ahead of this year’s draft.

Kyle Kuzma could be key to Washington Wizards landing Jaden Ivey

washington wizards, jaden ivey
Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
  • Kings get: Kyle Kuzma, 10th pick in 2022 draft, and top-5 protected pick in 2024
  • Wizards get: Justin Holiday, Maurice Harkless, and the 4th pick in the 2022 draft

Kyle Kuzma was one of Washington’s best scoring options in 2022, and once Bradley Beal went down for the season with a wrist injury, he became a primary scorer alongside Kristaps Porzingis. By getting him in a trade, Sacramento would bolster their bench in a major way and have an instant replacement for Harrison Barnes after his contract expires following this season.

In addition, a hypothetical trade would see them move just six spots back in this month and also land a protected pick in 2024. It would be a deal that helps the team now and in the future, while not giving up much with bench players Maurice Harkless and Justin Holiday.

  • Kings get: 10th and 20th pick in the draft
  • Wizards get: 4th pick in the draft, Romeo Langford and Joshua Primo
  • Spurs get: Kyle Kuzma

A second option would be to involve the San Antonio Spurs, who have three picks in the first round of this year’s draft. In this scenario, the Spurs would give up pick 20 for Kuzma, and the Wizards would send the 10th and 20th selections to Sacramento to draft Ivey at four. Those two selections could be kept by the Kings or used to get an impactful player via trade on draft night.