The Washington Wizards accomplished a couple of their goals here at the trade deadline, bolstering their bench and saving themselves some money in a trade with the Brooklyn Nets.
Bojan Bogdanovic (14.2 points per game, 3.6 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 26.9 minutes)
Chris McCullough (2.5 points, 1.2 rebounds, 0.1 assists, 5.1 minutes)
Andrew Nicholson (2.5 points, 1.2 rebounds, 0.3 assists, 8.3 minutes)
Marcus Thornton (6.6 points, 2.3 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 17.4 minutes)
A 2017 Lottery Protected First Round Pick
Not unlike last night’s Lou Williams trade, this trade helps both teams, one of whom is looking towards the Playoffs, while the other looks towards building for the future. A good bench upgrade has been needed in Washington. Beyond their starting five, Washington’s lineup has been quite lackluster, with no reliable source of offense to provide relief to the over burdened starters. After a lousy start, the Wizards have climbed all the way up to third in the East, with an eye towards raising some hell in the Playoffs. In Bogdanovic, they now add a much needed offensive element to the second unit, someone who can hopefully carry the load (or at least ease the load) while the starters rest. By unloading Nicholson and Thornton, they also wipe some contracts off the books, freeing up space to help retain starting small forward Otto Porter Jr this summer. They’ve improved their bench without giving up any key rotational players, as well as making it easier to keep one of their more important players (Porter). The draft pick they’re parting with will be later in the First Round, thanks to their surge towards the top of the Eastern standings. Nice work by the Wizards.
As for the Nets, they’ve got the worst record in the league, and it’s time to start looking towards the future, which means trying to replenish their draft picks, which were given away in the hilarious Paul Pierce/Kevin Garnett trade. Netting (heh) this extra draft pick should give them two in the latter stages of the First Round (thanks to this year’s pick swap with the Celtics), and in the meantime, it won’t hurt to see if Andrew Nicholson could become a helpful player for them. Even if he doesn’t, who cares? There’s not a whole heck of a lot at stake for them. Also joining the Nets is Marcus Thronton, who the Nets had for half a season after acquiring him back at the 2014 trade deadline. Never one to shy away from putting up shots, he’ll at least do his best to replicate the 14.2 points a game Bogdanovic was scoring. Anyway, this trade isn’t about winning this season, it’s about getting that extra draft pick. It’s not at all exciting, and it’s certainly not the trade that’s going to fix their franchise, but it’s a small step towards getting there.
Now that the Wizards have added to their bench, and the Raptors got their power forward, my attention turns to the Celtics, the other big contender for the second spot in the East. Their chief rivals have made moves to improve. Will it inspire them to pull the trigger on a major trade, or will they sit on their assets and see what they turn into further down the line. We’re less than 24 hours away from the trade deadline now, so we’ll know soon enough once the dust settles tomorrow afternoon.
The Brooklyn Nets plan to waive Marcus Thornton, league sources tell @TheVertical. Thornton was part of trade with Washington today.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA) February 23, 2017
So much for the Marcus Thornton Brooklyn homecoming.