February 22, 2017
Washington Wizards Receive: Bojan Bogdanovic, Chris McCullough
Brooklyn Nets Receive: Andrew Nicholson, Marcus Thornton, Wizards’ 2017 first round pick, lottery protected
The Wizards have won 18 of their last 21 games and currently sit in third place in the East. No one could have seen this one coming after the 2-8 start. There is also no team more dependent on their starting lineup. The return of Ian Mahinmi should help the bench out and Kelly Oubre has had a solid season. The Raptors, Celtics, and Wizards seem like the only three teams in the East who can compete with the Cavs. The Raptors have got Ibaka and the Celtics have a ton of assets to make some moves in these last couple hours before the trade deadline. For the Wizards to make a run in the East, they needed to boost their bench. Bojan Bogdanovic was averaging 14.2 points per game for the Nets this year in 26.9 minutes. He can shoot but not much else. He will help the bench but for giving up a first round pick, this is not giving the Wizards and great sixth man who can come off the bench and create instant offense. When looking at what the Cavs traded for Korver, or the Rockets traded for Lou Williams, the Wizards gave up more than either of those teams and Bogdanovic is a player who is in between both of them in play style, but might bring less than either of them to a team. Is he really that much of an upgrade over Marcus Thornton that it is worth giving up a first round pick for the second year in a row. Bogdanovic has had much more success in the international game so if getting off the Nets and going to a playoff team can bring out some of his international play, this will look much better. McCullough was the 29th pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, but has done nothing on an awful Nets team that gives any hope he will be a rotational NBA player. Andrew Nicholson was 13th on the team in minutes, so McCullough at least will not be worse. If anything Nicholson to a McCullough is a lateral move that saves the Wizards a good chunk of money.
The Nets need to do anything possible to collect first round picks. It is old news that they are in a horrible situation. They are by far the worst team in the NBA this year and their pick will be swapped with Boston. Next year, when they will likely be just as bad, their pick will go outright to the Celtics. The Nets will not have their own first round pick until 2019. No free agent of note will want to go to Brooklyn anytime soon. The only thing the team can do is get rid of their veterans for whatever draft picks and young players they can get in return. The Nets have accepted that they are not going to compete right now, and have swallowed the fact that there is not getting their pick this year and next back. They were able to turn Thaddeus Young into a draft pick that turned into Chris LeVert, who looks pretty good in his rookie year. Turning Bogdanovic into a first round pick was a great move for Brooklyn. If the season ended today, it would be the 24th pick. In this draft, the Nets can hopefully get a rotation player, and depending on how far he drops, maybe even a high risk-high reward player such as Harry Giles. Thornton is a free agent after the season and is a good buyout candidate. Nicholson is signed for less than 7 million a season through 2019-2020, but the 19th pick in the 2012 draft has done nothing to justify even that much of a salary. The Nets probably would not have been able to get a first round pick without taking on the salary.
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