The Wizards made a minor move ahead of the 2018 NBA trade deadline on Thursday, but the deal has larger implications on what they plan to do next.
By trading Sheldon Mac to the Atlanta Hawks for a protected second round pick, as NBC Sports Washington's Chris Miller reported, the Wizards shed some salary and by doing so created relief in the luxury tax.
The Wizards' roster now stands at 13 players. They plan to add a 14th player soon, NBC Sports Washington has learned, likely in the free agent buyout market which should pick up in the coming days and weeks.
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Things can and will change for the Wizards financially once they add another player. For now, they have cleared approximately $2 million by jettisoning Mac. The Wizards also shipped some cash to Atlanta in the trade.
Names will continue to emerge in the free agent market but in the wake of the trade deadline several players have become available. That list includes guard Derrick Rose and center Georgios Papagiannis. There are rumors that Shabazz Muhammad could be bought out by the Timberwolves and the same for Brandan Wright of the Memphis Grizzlies.
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Last year, the Wizards signed Brandon Jennings on March 1. It could take some time for them to make a move, as the Cavaliers and other top teams will be in the mix for the best options that hit the market.
The Wizards could use some depth at the wing and center positions. They are set at point guard with Tomas Satoransky and Tim Frazier backing up John Wall, who is currently out due to injury. A shooting guard who could spell Bradley Beal or a small forward that would allow the Wizards to more often go small with Otto Porter and Kelly Oubre on the floor together would make sense.
The Wizards have some time to figure this out and just because the trade deadline has passed doesn't mean they are done adding pieces. Expect them to be active in the post-deadline free agent market.
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