Wizards

Two potential trade-up opportunities for the Wizards

Wizards
Wizards general manager Tommy Sheppard

The Wizards currently hold the 15th overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft with a glaring need for a wing who can shoot and defend multiple positions. 

Their chances at getting one of the top wings in the draft at 15 aren't all that high, so a trade up the board would make a lot of sense for a franchise in need of one of the league's most important commodities. However, there are two teams ahead of Washington in this year's draft reportedly open to trading their picks. Could this be the Wizards' chance to move up?

Sacramento Kings: 9th overall pick

The Kings have shopped the ninth overall pick in the draft for players that can help them "win now," per The Ringer's Kevin O'Connor. For the Wizards, a move into the top 10 would improve their chances of getting one of the draft's best wings substantially, and judging by previous NBA draft trade-ups, they could get it done at an affordable price. 

Before the 2019 NBA Draft, the Suns traded the sixth overall pick to the Timberwolves for forward Dario Saric and the 11th overall pick. The Wizards would be moving up six spots instead of five and wouldn't be able to offer a lottery pick in return, but they're also ot moving into the top-six. 

Washington could offer the 15th pick and someone like Thomas Bryant for No. 9. If the Kings can't bring back free-agent center Richaun Holmes, they'll need a productive option to replace him. What Bryant lacks on the defensive end compared to Holmes, he more than makes up for it as a floor-spacer and roller, which wouldn't be the worst thing to pair with De'Aaron Fox and Tyrese Haliburton. 

 

Related: 2021 NBA Mock Draft 8.0: Trade Edition, where the 76ers deal Ben Simmons

Indiana Pacers: 13th overall pick

The Pacers are reportedly very active in trade talks with the 13th pick, per O'Connor. They have interest in either moving up into the top 10 or out of the draft entirely. 

In this case, the Wizards can offer the 15th pick and a couple future second-round picks to move up a few spots, or send Bryant to Indiana in a package for the 13th pick to acquire multiple first-round picks in this draft. Bryant fits better next to Domantas Sabonis than Myles Turner does, so the Pacers could acquire a new center and focus on trading Turner elsewhere to make up for the loss of their lottery pick. 

The Wizards wouldn't be guaranteed a much better player at 13 compared to 15, but if they were able to get two first-round picks it would give them a ton of flexibility in improving their roster. They could move up, take two quality players or use the two picks in a larger deal for a high-priced veteran.