With the Wizards closing in on a sign-and-trade agreement to acquire point guard Spencer Dinwiddie, they could still have the mid-level exception to add another player or several. The MLE is about $9.5 million for the 2021-22 season. It can be used to sign one player or a few of them, and on contracts that span up to four years.
If the Wizards have indeed solved their problem at starting point guard, they can go in a different direction with the MLE. Here are five players still available (as of post time) who could make sense...
2020-21 stats: 66 G, 21.6 mpg, 11.3 ppg, 3.4 apg, 2.1 rpg, 0.7 spg, 41.0% FG (4.0/9.8), 39.9% 3PT (1.0/2.6), 86.7 FT%
The Wizards have been searching for a reliable backup to Bradley Beal for years. In Williams, they could go after one of the greatest bench players of all time. Williams is a three-time Sixth Man of the Year and last season helped the Hawks go to the conference finals. The Wizards have an intriguing roster with more shooting and the potential to be better on defense this season. But they could still use more shot-makers and Williams is excellent at creating his own plays.
2020-21 stats: 33 G, 32.7 mpg, 19.8 ppg, 4.6 apg, 4.8 rpg, 1.4 spg, 40.8% FG (7.1/17.5), 32.6% 3PT (2.4/7.2), 75.4 FT%
It's hard to gauge Oladipo's market at the moment, as it wasn't long ago he was one of the brightest young stars in the league. Unfortunately, injuries have derailed his career and he's only played in 88 total games the past three years. Oladipo could benefit from taking a one-year, prove-it deal to get back on track. Fortunately for him, he's already made over $100 million in his career. Perhaps coming back to his hometown to play alongside Beal could be the right, low-pressure situation for him to bounce back.
2020-21 stats: 68 G, 24.8 mpg, 10.8 ppg, 2.4 apg, 1.7 rpg, 0.6 spg, 41.2% FG (3.7/9.0), 37.5% 3PT (2.4/6.3), 91.0 FT%
Though the Wizards appear to have their starting point guard, they still could use another one on the depth chart. Dinwiddie is coming off a serious injury (ACL tear) and behind him are Aaron Holiday and Cassius Winston, the latter of which is expected to be on a two-way deal. Mills would give the Wizards more outside shooting and a steady veteran presence in their second unit. He's been an ideal fit in that role for years.
2020-21 stats: 72 G, 16.0 mpg, 6.9 ppg, 0.8 apg, 2.4 rpg, 0.3 spg, 43.7% FG (2.5/5.6), 42.5% 3PT (1.7/4.1), 95.7 FT%
Another forward?! Yes, another forward. The Wizards may need one if they deal from their newfound depth at the position in the Dinwiddie trade. Niang would bring more three-point shooting and possibly some upside. He has shot 41.3% from long range the past three seasons, but only on 3.2 attempts per game. If he can scale the volume up and maintain the percentage, he could prove to be a bargain.
2020-21 stats: 71 G, 19.1 mpg, 9.0 ppg, 0.8 apg, 3.8 rpg, 0.2 spg, 63.3% FG (3.8/6.0), 27.8% 3PT (0.1/0.3), 72.3 FT%
The Wizards used their MLE on Lopez last offseason and it worked out quite well. The 33-year-old led the team in games played and had the most efficient season of his career. He was reliable and made a big difference on defense, as the Wizards improved on that end enough to make the playoffs for the first time in three years. Even if the Wizards don't ship out a big man to match salary for Dinwiddie, they could use someone like Lopez considering Thomas Bryant likely won't start the season on time due to his ACL surgery and Daniel Gafford has well-documented issues with foul trouble.