5 trade deadline deals Wizards could consider


We know the Washington Wizards will do something ahead of the Feb. 10 NBA Trade Deadline, we just don't know exactly what they will do or how significant the trade or trades they make will be. Given how this season has gone and their multitude of needs, plus all the variables in their salary cap situation, there seem to be endless possibilities.

Below are some hypotheticals the Wizards could explore with analysis of the likely reasoning. They are all completely made up and are probably best seen as the vague framework for deals.

Regardless, this exercise should help conceptualize what the Wizards need, what they could be looking for and what it would take to accomplish those goals. Each trade has been verified salary-wise using ESPN's trade machine.


Wizards get: Robert Covington
Blazers get: Montrezl Harrell, Aaron Holiday

The Wizards will have to explore all of their options as they approach the deadline, given the state of the team. That means thinking big and aiming high, but that is often easier said than done and they could be convinced to go with a more medium-sized trade rather than a major one. In this hypothetical, they would add a solid defender and three-point shooter at the forward position. 

The two problems here might be selling too low on Harrell and also adding a veteran who could stand in the way of young players like Deni Avdija and Rui Hachimura. But, if the Wizards want to help their defense, Covington could be of assistance. This type of deal would also represent a chemistry change if the Wizards feel that is necessary following Harrell's spat with Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.


Wizards get: Kelly Olynyk
Pistons get: Davis Bertans, 2026 second round pick

If the Wizards end up trading Bertans ahead of the deadline, they will be selling low, which is never ideal. But perhaps the Pistons would be willing to take a chance on him, given he could prove to be a better fit in their offense. Detroit is one of the worst three-point shooting teams in the NBA and they also play a bit of a faster pace than the Wizards, which could help unlock Bertans by putting him in transition alongside gifted rookie Cade Cunningham. 

In this scenario, the Wizards would have to attach a future pick to unload Bertans, but in return they would get a guy who could help in Olynyk. Getting Olynyk would also follow a longstanding trend of Wizards Killers later playing for the franchise. See: Jeff Green, Isaiah Thomas, C.J. Miles, etc. This type of acquisition, however, would likely require a subsequent deal to ship out one of the Wizards' other big men because what is already a logjam would get even more crowded. Doing so could shake up the Wizards' center rotation, which has been part of a struggling paint defense.


Wizards get: Domantas Sabonis
Pacers get: Deni Avdija, Davis Bertans, Thomas Bryant, 2028 first round pick 1-5 protected

If the Wizards want to make a substantial move at the deadline, Sabonis seems like one of the best available options. He's a two-time All-Star who is only 25 years old. He's also on a team-friendly contract and plays a position that would complement Bradley Beal. Defense may be a concern, but the Wizards could aim to figure that out later, prioritizing raising their talent level first. 

What isn't clear is how much it would take to pry Sabonis away from Indiana, as he is really good and they don't really have to deal him. In this scenario, the Wizards would give up a ton; two of their best young players, a future first round pick and Bertans to match the money. This may not even be enough, as it's impossible to speculate with perfect accuracy. Still, if the Wizards could possibly make it happen, this is probably at least in the ballpark of a commensurate offer.

Wizards get: Jerami Grant
Pistons get: Davis Bertans, Thomas Bryant, 2028 first round pick protected 1-3, 2026 second round pick

If the Wizards do decide to pull off a big trade, Grant would make a lot of sense to target. Regardless of the recent rumblings about his supposed contract and role demands, he would be a great fit for what they need and what they want. The Wizards want to build a good defense and they have a lot of issues to fix. Adding a defender as capable and versatile as Grant could help check off more than one box. He also has ties to the area, the franchise and head coach Wes Unseld Jr.


But like the Sabonis scenario, this could be close to the required offer or way off-base, it's hard to tell. What is apparent is the Wizards would have to give up a lot. Perhaps the Pistons would be enticed by getting a young player at a position of relative need in Bryant, plus a chance at reviving Bertans, as explained above. That is all in addition to a lightly protected first round pick, which would be the centerpiece.


Wizards get: Ben Simmons, Matisse Thybulle
Sixers get: Bradley Beal

The Wizards have shown no indication they are willing to trade Beal, but given their current course and his contract uncertainty, they have to at least consider their options given the prospect of losing him for nothing in free agency. If they decided to trade Beal, they could opt for future picks and assets. Or, they could go for someone in Simmons who is already an All-NBA talent and only 25 years old. He is one of the best defensive players in the NBA and, though he can't and sometimes isn't even willing to shoot, he has plus attributes on offense due to his passing and ability to push the pace. 

The Wizards could leverage the fact Beal has zero character red flags and would be a perfect fit alongside Joel Embiid to get not only Simmons, but something else. If they could pry away Thybulle, that would return two All-Defense players. They would need to load up on shooting moving forward, but that's a good haul if the Wizards have to hit the eject button on the Beal era. The Wizards could change course but still have a chance to compete as they build their roster, instead of going through a prolonged tanking process.