What a team does at the NBA trade deadline generally relates directly to whether they think they can compete in that year's postseason. Good teams headed to the playoffs may find value in adding another piece for the stretch run, while teams heading towards the NBA draft lottery often have nothing to offer in trades at all.
Because of that, the Wizards have found themselves in very different states at this time of the year throughout their history. From 2002 through 2009, for instance, they didn't make any deals at the deadline. Yet since 2010, they have made nine trades and at least one per season.
With the 2017 trade deadline coming up (Thursday at 3 p.m.), here is a look back at each trade the Wizards made at the deadline since the year 2000 with analysis. The first deal was made by Michael Jordan with the rest have come under Ernie Grunfeld's tenure as president of the Wizards. The trade information is from Basketball-Reference.com:
February 22, 2001: Traded Calvin Booth, Obinna Ekezie and Juwan Howard to the Dallas Mavericks for Courtney Alexander, Hubert Davis, Christian Laettner, Etan Thomas, Loy Vaught and cash.
Analysis: Howard was still getting it done at the age of 27 with 18 points and seven rebounds a game for the Wizards, but it wasn't translating into wins, so they traded him to Dallas in an eight-player deal. In return they got some veterans and some intriguing young players like Alexander and Thomas, but the trade didn't ultimately amount to much. The Mavericks later shipped Howard to Denver in a deal for Nick Van Exel and others that helped them reach the conference finals in 2003.
February 13, 2010: Traded Caron Butler, Brendan Haywood and DeShawn Stevenson to the Dallas Mavericks for Drew Gooden, Josh Howard, Quinton Ross and James Singleton.
Analysis: The first trade of the Wizards' pre-John Wall rebuild sent three starters from their 2007-08 playoff team to Dallas for four players, including Gooden who would be dealt elsewhere just four days later. Howard was the best of the players they received, but he only appeared in 22 games across two seasons for the Wizards due to injuries. Following this trade, he played in just 76 more NBA games before his career was over.
February 17, 2010: As part of a 3-team trade, the Washington Wizards traded Drew Gooden to the Los Angeles Clippers; the Washington Wizards traded Antawn Jamison to the Cleveland Cavaliers; the Cleveland Cavaliers traded Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Emir Preldzic and a 2010 1st round draft pick (Lazar Hayward was later selected 30th) to the Washington Wizards; the Los Angeles Clippers traded Sebastian Telfair to the Cleveland Cavaliers; and the Los Angeles Clippers traded Al Thornton to the Washington Wizards.
Analysis: In another trade to dismantle the mid-2000s Wizards, they sent Jamison to play with LeBron James in Cleveland. Ilgauskas never played for the Wizards, the first round pick didn't work out and Thornton was out of the league soon after.
February 18, 2010: Traded Dominic McGuire and cash to the Sacramento Kings for a 2010 2nd round draft pick. Sacramento did not receive the 2nd round draft pick because it was top 41 protected.
Analysis: This was a minor trade that saw McGuire leave after a disappointing tenure in Washington. He was a very good defensive player in college, but couldn't make it work in the pros.
February 23, 2011: Traded Hilton Armstrong and Kirk Hinrich to the Atlanta Hawks for Mike Bibby, Jordan Crawford, Maurice Evans and a 2011 1st round draft pick (Chris Singleton was later selected 18th overall).
Analysis: The trade looked much better when it happened than it does in hindsight. To acquire a first round pick for what the Wizards gave up was no small feat, it just didn't amount to much in Singleton, who never realized his potential.
March 15, 2012: As part of a 3-team trade, the Washington Wizards traded Nick Young to the Los Angeles Clippers; the Washington Wizards traded JaVale McGee and Ronny Turiaf to the Denver Nuggets; the Denver Nuggets traded Nene to the Washington Wizards; and the Los Angeles Clippers traded Brian Cook and a 2015 2nd round draft pick (Arturas Gudaitis was later selected) to the Washington Wizards.
Analysis: This was an important trade for the Wizards. They got rid of Young and McGee and brought in Nene, who brought a veteran presence to the locker room and helped lead the Wizards to two playoff appearances.
February 21, 2013: Traded Jordan Crawford to the Boston Celtics for Leandro Barbosa and Jason Collins.
Analysis: The Wizards felt compelled to trade Crawford and didn't get much in return. Barbosa had recently torn his ACL and ultimately restored his career, but that comeback didn't come in Washington. Barbosa never played a game for the Wizards, but later became a valuable piece for the Warriors and won a title in 2015.
February 20, 2014: As part of a 3-team trade, the Washington Wizards traded Eric Maynor and a 2015 2nd round draft pick (Arturas Gudaitis was later selected) to the Philadelphia 76ers; the Washington Wizards traded Jan Vesely to the Denver Nuggets; the Denver Nuggets traded a 2016 2nd round draft pick to the Philadelphia 76ers; the Denver Nuggets traded Andre Miller to the Washington Wizards; and the Philadelphia 76ers traded a 2014 2nd round draft pick to the Washington Wizards. (2014 2nd-rd pick was protected and not conveyed)
Analysis: This one had a lot going on. Not only did the Wizards part with Jan Vesely, a major bust after being selected sixth overall, they brought in Miller who at 37 still provided an upgrade as a backup point guard. He didn't score much (3.8 ppg), but he ran the offense competently and was a decent distributor (3.5 apg).
February 19, 2015: Traded Andre Miller to the Sacramento Kings for Ramon Sessions.
Analysis: Miller was good in the short-term, but the Wizards decided to get younger almost exactly a year later. Sessions was a better scorer and ended up spending a full season with them the following year.
February 18, 2016: Traded DeJuan Blair, Kris Humphries and a 2016 1st round draft pick to the Phoenix Suns for Markieff Morris. (2016 1st-Rd pick is top-9 protected)
Analysis: Some (myself included) criticized this deal when it went down because the Suns seemed desperate to part with Morris after some off-the-court troubles, and it's never easy to give up a first round pick. But lately the traded has looked better and better by the game, as Morris has emerged as a perfect complement to the rest of the Wizards' starting lineup. In his last 29 games since Dec. 18, Morris is averaging 16.6 points and 7.9 rebounds per game. Add it all up and this is probably the best trade the Wizards have ever made at the deadline.
Honorable mention: Speaking of Grunfeld, when he ran the Milwaukee Bucks he once traded future Hall of Famer Ray Allen, a first round pick and two players to the Seattle Supersonics for future Hall of Famer Gary Payton and another veteran. Now that is a blockbuster.