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Wizards deadline strategy: Thinking of future is forward thinking

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Wizards deadline strategy: Thinking of future is forward thinking

The Washington Wizards, broadly speaking, have three possible paths before Thursday's NBA trade deadline: Make a move, stand pat, punt away the season. It's time to examine each option. 

At this point I've looked at two angles, both of which are about the Wizards thinking playoffs with varying degrees of aggression. This post will go the other way. With the composition of the roster, with a reality check on the season and with the goal of an NBA title in mind, one can make the case that Washington's best bet isn't chasing the 2016 leaders, but jump-starting the future. 

After 51 games, many of which included epic defensive lapses or schizophrenic performances, nobody outside of the organization can feel extremely confident that this team turns things around. We can keep pointing out that Washington, 23-28 entering Thursday's game against Utah, is only three games out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Of course, as former Super Bowl winning coach Bill Parcells famously said, you are what your record says you are.

The Wizards lead the NBA in games missed due to injury. Unless all were dipped in the river Styx during the All-Star break, who's to say more aches and pains won't crop up over the final two months.

Even with the roster possibly at full strength in the coming days for the first time all season, issues remain. The crafty Jared Dudley is the only legit stretch-4 option on the roster and he gives up size and rebounding to nearly every opponent. John Wall is the essentially the only player consistently capable of creating offense for himself and others. Washington ranks last in 3-point shooting defense.

All that said, if they were already one of the top eight seeds, making a bold trade would have merit. Get the fourth seed and with it, homecourt advantage in the first round. Washington reached the conference semifinals the last two years without it. The thing is, mortgaging a portion of their future for help won't ensure they snag one of those coveted eight slots. Just finishing eighth likely means the daunting task of facing LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the opening round. 

However, dealing away assets now could put the Wizards in the rare position of playing ahead going into the offseason. You know those teams that own a draft with a bevy of picks? Washington could be one of those teams.

RELATED: Hawks more or less likely to deal with Splitter done?

As my colleague J. Michael wrote this morning, the Wizards have numerous players that might be attractive to playoff teams. However, he came at the list from the perspective that Washington won't give in. That's not the exercise here.

Washington can play out the string and, whether they make the playoffs or not, lose these assets for nothing next off-season.

The Wizards could also seek trade partners. If they put up a "for sale" sign quickly, they might be at the front of the line in what looks likes a sellers market based on the number of teams still vying for the playoffs. Dudley's 3-point shooting percentage ranks third in the NBA. Nene's power and passing can carry a team at times. As a package or with other pieces, it conceivable some hopeful contender would pony up a first round pick or young player. 

Here's the added bonus with the punt option. More losses means more lottery balls. Whether the 2016 draft class overall wows the talent evaluators or not, there will be gems for a GM to unearth.

Here's what next year's team could look like:

Frontcourt: Marcin Gortat, Otto Porter, Kelly Oubre

Backcourt: John Wall, Bradley Beal (restricted free agent)

* Based on conversations before this season tipped and with the third guard role wide open, it's expected that 2012 second round pick Tomas Satoransky brings his athletic and instinctive game across the pond.

* Power forward Aaron White, Washington's second round pick last year, is impressing overseas.

* 2016 first round pick (no second rounder; traded in deal for Oubre)

* Assets (1st round pick?) acquired in any hypothetical trades before Thursday's deadline.

For starters, nobody would call the Wizards old any more. At 26, Wall would be the second oldest behind Gortat. The roster needs more bigs, but cap space isn't an issue, KD2DC talk aside. The pieces in place are for space and pace offense with Wall directing traffic. With trades before this deadline, the Wizards could have enough assets for an interesting deal next summer. It just depends if they want to chase the leaders now or jump-start the future.

MORE WIZARDS: If Wizards traded, who'd have most value?

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NBA Draft 2018: Mavs trade up to select Luka Doncic, send Trae Young to Hawks

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USA Today Sports

NBA Draft 2018: Mavs trade up to select Luka Doncic, send Trae Young to Hawks

The Dallas Mavericks traded up two spots to select Luka Doncic with the No. 3 overall pick in Thursday night’s NBA Draft, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

The Mavericks swapped its first round pick, No. 5 overall, with the Atlanta Hawks, who then took Oklahoma star Trae Young.

The Hawks had been interested in trading back to select Young all week.  

Along with the No. 5 overall pick, Dallas will send a 2019 protected first round pick, according to Yahoo Sports' Shams Charania. No players are involved in the trade.

Doncic, the 19-year-old guard, dominated in Europe this past season. He was named EuroLeague MVP, finishing the year averaging 14.5 points, 5.2 rebounds and 4.6 assists over 25 minutes per game.

Young broke out in his freshman season at Oklahoma, leading the Sooners to a March Madness berth. He scored 27.4 points and picked up 8.7 assists per game, leading the country in both categories. Young will likely become the replacement to Dennis Schroder, who is expected to be traded by the Hawks.  

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2018 NBA Draft Results: round-by-round picks, updates, live tracker

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USA TODAY Sports

2018 NBA Draft Results: round-by-round picks, updates, live tracker

The 2018 NBA Draft is finally here and with the Phoenix Suns on the clock and Arizona center DeAndre Ayton expected to be the No. 1 overall pick, the Thursday night festivities can get underway.

The NBA Draft is arguably the best non-sporting sports event of the Summer, with the best college and international basketball players ready to find out which teams they will begin their professional careers with.

From booms to busts, draft night trades and shocking selections, the NBA Draft provides a lot to unpack.

Here are the results from the 2018 NBA Draft, with live updates and analysis on every first and second-round draft pick.

2018 NBA Draft First Round Results

PICK (1): Phoenix Suns select C Deandre Ayton (Arizona): Ayton is a big-bodied center with classic post moves and a 7-foot-5 wingspan. You can't pass him up.

PICK (2): Sacramento Kings select F Marvin Bagley III (Duke): Bagley is an explosive frontcourt player who should thrive in today's NBA.

PICK (3): Atlanta Hawks traded draft rights of SG Luka Doncic (Slovenia) to the Dallas Mavericks: We have our first Woj Bomb!

Doncic can go to his left or his right and is a big-time shotmaker. He might be the best overall player in this draft, it's just going to be in Dallas instead of Atlanta.

More on the Atlanta Hawks-Dallas Mavericks trade here.

PICK (4): Memphis Grizzlies select F Jaren Jackson Jr. (Michigan State): Jaren Jackson is a modern big man in today's NBA. He might be the best overall defender in this draft.

PICK (5): Dallas Mavericks traded draft rights of PG Trae Young (Oklahoma) to the Atlanta Hawks: Hawks GM Travis Schlenk was an Assistant GM in Golden State with Steph Curry. Trae Young can be Schlenk's version of Steph Curry in Atlanta.

PICK (6): Orlando Magic select C Mohamed Bamba (Texas): Mo Bamba's 7-foot-10 wingspan is the longest in this draft and his defensive prowess and rebounding will make him a contributor immediately.

PICK (7): Chicago Bulls select F Wendell Carter (Duke): The second Duke Blue Devil off the board in the 2018 NBA Draft is an insane rebounder and has a well-rounded offensive game and good footwork. The Bulls know what they're getting in this draft with Wendell Carter.

PICK (8): Cleveland Cavaliers select PG Collin Sexton (Alabama): He may play with LeBron James in Cleveland, he might not. Regardless of LeBron's decision, Collin Sexton is a ball-dominant point guard who's extremely quick and impressive on defense.

PICK (9): New York Knicks select F Kevin Knox (Kentucky): Kevin Knox is a volume scorer, something the Knicks need with Kristaps Porzingis sidelined with a knee injury. Knox can knock down shots from inside and out, which bodes well for his NBA comparison.

PICK (10): Philadelphia 76ers select

PICK (11): Charlotte Hornets select

PICK (12): Los Angeles Clippers select

PICK (13): Los Angeles Clippers select

PICK (14): Denver Nuggets select

PICK (15): Washington Wizards select

PICK (16): Phoenix Suns select

PICK (17): Milwaukee Bucks select

PICK (18): San Antonio Spurs select

PICK (19): Atlanta Hawks select

PICK (20): Minnesota Timberwolves select

PICK (21): Utah Jazz select

PICK (22): Chicago Bulls select

PICK (23): Indiana Pacers select

PICK (24): Portland Trail Blazers select

PICK (25): Los Angeles Lakers select

PICK (26): Philadelphia 76ers select

PICK (27): Boston Celtics select

PICK (28): Golden State Warriors select

PICK (29): Brooklyn Nets select

PICK (30): Atlanta Hawks select

2018 NBA Draft First Round Results

PICK (31): Phoenix Suns select

PICK (32): Memphis Grizzlies select

PICK (33): Dallas Mavericks select

PICK (34): Atlanta Hawks select

PICK (35): Orlando Magic select

PICK (36): New York Knicks select

PICK (37): Sacramento Kings select

PICK (38): Philadelphia 76ers select

PICK (39): Los Angeles Lakers select

PICK (40): Brooklyn Nets select

PICK (41): Orlando Magic select

PICK (42): Detroit Pistons select

PICK (43): Denver Nuggets select

PICK (44): Washington Wizards select

PICK (45): Brooklyn Nets select

PICK (46): Houston Rockets select

PICK (47): Los Angeles Lakers select

PICK (48): Minnesota Timberwolves select

PICK (49): San Antonio Spurs select

PICK (50): Indiana Pacers select

PICK (51): New Orleans Pelicans select

PICK (52): Utah Jazz select

PICK (53): Oklahoma City Thunder select

PICK (54): Dallas Mavericks select

PICK (55): Charlotte Hornets select

PICK (56): Philadelphia 76ers select

PICK (57): Oklahoma City Thunder select

PICK (58): Denver Nuggets select

PICK (59): Phoenix Suns select

PICK (60): Philadelphia 76ers select

Before the draft: The NBA Draft always brings questionable fashion decisions. This year is no different. Trae Young is wearing a shorts suit and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is wearing ... whatever he's wearing. Colin Sexton is wearing a suit WITH HIMSELF on the inside.

Ah the annual shoes with spikes photo. This year, the shoes are on the feet of Collin Sexton and Marvin Bagley III