Wizards Trade for Bogdanovic — What It Means for Washington | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

Wizards Trade for Bogdanovic — What It Means for Washington

Updated: February 22, 2017

[image via Getty Images]


Washington Gets:

  • Bojan Bogdanovic: 28 in April, 6-foot-8, 3-point shooting wing, in last year of his deal ($3.5 M), will be a restricted free agent this summer.
  • Chris McCullough: just turned 22, 6-foot-11 big man who rebounds well, can somewhat shoot 3s, a recent D-(G)-League All-Star, and has three years left on a very affordable rookie contract.

Brooklyn Gets:

  • A 2017 first round draft pick (lottery-protected; would be No. 24 at this juncture).
  • Marcus Thornton: pretty bad shot-jacker, should not have been re-signed this summer (or even signed in the first place), has not played since Jan. 3, and was probably only present in D.C. to carry favor with his agent, who happens to be Bradley Beal’s agent.
  • Andrew Nicholson: why on earth. But really, he’s a Canadian who seems to have the best intentions — and he even seemed like an OK end-of-bench stretch 4 when the Wizards signed him — but it quickly became apparent that he was a subpar rebounder, very poor defender, somewhat of a black hole on offense, and was very much overpaid this past summer (four years, $26 million).


KYLE WEIDIE (@Truth_About_It).

Let me start with this:

I like Bojan Bogdanovic, and it’s not just ‘cause he’s killed the Wizards a time (or three) — 41.3 percent from deep in 10 career games versus Washington.

Bogdanovic is a stretchy wing who can shoot from deep (35.7% on 3-pointers this season, 36.6% for his career) rebounds about the same as Andrew Nicholson, and can’t be any more of a disaster on defense than Nicholson (although Bojan is not great, Bob). Bogdanovic also boosts Washington depth at the wing (the lack of which was glaring coming into the season before Marcus Thornton and Trey Burke became spare tire fires), and this in turn allows for Brooks to play smaller lineups more often, i.e., Otto at the 4.

We’ve been screaming about Washington’s lack of 3-point shooting for pretty much the duration of John Wall’s career, and with Bojan currently shooting from deep at Markieff Morris levels, that helps … I guess. The formula, it seems, is that when someone would like to get paid and if that someone can shoot, then John Wall is your maker.

But this move is a total shoulder-shrugger. It fills a need but not a glaring need (yes, the Wizards might not be done dealing). My point being: Trey Burke is still very terrible (but good riddance Marcus Thornton!), and this move doesn’t even make Washington’s horrid bench defense any better.

But what say you?

ADAM RUBIN (@LedellsPlace).

The market value for a 2017 first-round pick skyrocketed on Sunday night when Sacramento shockingly traded DeMarcus Cousins to the New Orleans Pelicans for a 2017 first round pick, Buddy Hield, Langston Galloway, and Tyreke Evans.

As surprising as the trade was when first announced, it became even more mind-boggling when reports surfaced that New Orleans’ pick was top-3 protected. You can get Boogie AND keep your lottery ticket in a loaded draft?

The market returned to normalcy on Tuesday when Los Angeles traded Lou Williams to Houston for Corey Brewer and an unprotected 2017 first round pick.

So, with Washington willing to part with its 2017 pick (which is at least as valuable as Houston’s), expectations were that the Wizards could add a Lou Williams-caliber player to their underperforming bench rotation.

But there was a catch. Washington’s 2017 pick was not like the others. It came with a most unwelcome guest: Andrew Nicholson’s four-year, $26 million contract. Nicholson’s contract — like an albatross hanging around the figurative neck of the Wizards’ cap space — severely depressed the pick’s market value and took Washington out of the running for Sweet Lou, potentially Darren Collison, and any other number of players who might be had with an unencumbered first rounder.

So, in evaluating the trade, one should consider not only what Bojan can do on the court but also what dumping Nicholson can do for the Wizards off of it.

In that regard, the big elephant in the front office’s room is Otto Porter. The Wizards chose not to give Otto an extension when he was first eligible because they were hoarding cap space for Kevin Durant. Obviously, that turned out to be a mistake. What was also a mistake: taking all of that cap space and giving it to Ian Mahinmi, Andrew Nicholson, and Jason Smith.

Once it became apparent Porter would command max (or near max) money to re-sign this off-season, the writing was on the wall: one of Ernie’s bad contracts had to go.

So, to the extent this trade makes it more likely that Washington will be able to re-sign Otto Porter, that’s a good thing. And, to the extent this trade improves Washington’s on-court performance for the rest of 2017, that’s a good thing, too.

So, the trade is a win-win, right? Not exactly. You cannot ignore the fact that Washington’s first round pick would have returned a much better player if it was not handicapped by Nicholson’s contract — or the fact that Washington would not have had to trade the pick at all if the front office had signed a serviceable player instead of Nicholson over the summer.

Bottom line: This trade gets the same reaction as virtually every Ernie trade: It’s fine if you ignore the fact that Washington was bargaining from a position of weakness due to past mistakes.

WEIDIE (@Truth_About_It).

I’ll close with this: the Wizards will add another guard, come hell or high-water (i.e., another trade — unlikely — or a scrap-heap waiver wire play — much more likely). Another bench ball-handler who can also defend (I know, asking a lot), was already a pretty big need. And now that Thornton’s warm, yet veteran, placeholder of a body is gone, the Wizards only have Trey Burke, Tomas Satoransky, and Sheldon McClellan (or Mac) for backcourt depth. We cannot assume at this juncture that Washington will keep new big man Chris McCullough, but if I am one of Washington’s undrafted rookies (traditional big Daniel Ochefu or wing Danuel House), I’m feeling pretty nervous.

BUT, if you came for sunshine … in what is an amazing season that Wizards fans are currently, surreally, observing, this trade is a step in a positive direction.



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Kyle Weidie
Founder / Editor / Reporter / Writer at TAI
Kyle founded TAI in 2007 and has been weaving in and out the world of Wizards ever since, ducking WittmanFaces, jumping over G-Wiz, and avoiding stints on the DNP-Conditioning list. He has covered the Washington pro basketball team as a member of the media since 2009. Kyle currently lives in Brooklyn, NY with his wife, loves basketball, and has no pets.