The Washington Wizards lost another crucial game on Wednesday, this time to the Cleveland Cavaliers, where they were dominated by the superstar duo of LeBron James and Kyrie Irving. The two combined for 64 points as the Cavaliers out dueled the Wizards for a 121-115 win. John Wall contributed with 20 points and 12 assists, but wasn’t enough to seal a victory over the defending Eastern Conference champs.
The Wizards seem to be stuck in a slump of trying to compete with the top contenders in the East while maintaining the level of play they had last season that got them to the second round. Unfortunately, they are 1-4 in their last five, including a three-game home losing-streak.
With injuries to Bradley Beal and Drew Gooden, they must try to make a move during the NBA trade deadline in order to save their declining season. There aren’t many players that can fill a void to a team on the cusp of reaching its potential, but these stars could possibly help to re-energize the Wizards.
His reputation for being a problem for head coach Jeff Hornacek and Phoenix Suns general manager Ryan McDonough may proceed him. However, Markieff Morris may be worth the risk of going to another team, provided his upside is greater than the distractions he causes off the court.
Morris’ 10.5 points and 4.7 rebounds a game are enough to add youth and depth to the Wizards roster. In addition, he adds a tough demeanor that he brings to the court when he plays.
The Wizards could use another versatile player at the power forward position to help Marcin Gortat and Otto Porter. With Nene steadily on the decline, it is time they start to look elsewhere and possibly trade the 14-year veteran.
Another stretch-4 who can shoot with he best of them, Ryan Anderson could be perfect for the Wizards. Averaging 16.6 points and 6.6 rebounds per game, Anderson can give John Wall another scorer to distribute the ball to.
He would be a big help at the three-point line while Beal continues to heal from his fractured left wrist. Him in the line up could also provide more ideas during late game scenarios for head coach Randy Wittman.
Paul Pierce was not only a big shot maker for the Wizards last season, but his veteran presence helped the team stay at an even pace while going through the playoffs. He is definitely missed and could help the team during its struggle to get back into the playoff hunt. In comes Joe Johnson, a proven veteran who not only has 15 years of experience is but also younger than Pierce.
Thus, making him equipped to carry the scoring on given nights for Wall and Beal. Johnson would sure love to put his talents to use on a contending team where he can compete for a championship, but a spot on the Wizards could also serve to teach the young players how to sustain excellence with his years on the Phoenix Suns and Atlanta Hawks. Plus he’s never afraid to take and make the big shot when it counts.
However, this deal would be nearly impossible to swing between the two teams since Johnson’s massive salary makes moving him a bit difficult.
It would seem that these moves could help the Wizards get over the hump and place themselves with the top top contenders of the East. However, it is up to management to secure those needs and do so at a fast pace. If any of these players were to go to Washington, a successful playoff run could be in the cards for the “wiz kids” in the near future.