3 players the Wizards need to trade in the 2022 NBA offseason

It’s been a disappointing season for the Washington Wizards. The team from the United States capital started well, winning ten of their first 13 games. After that, however, everything went downhill and even trading for Kristaps Porzingis at the trade deadline didn’t help. The Wizards are out of playoff contention with a 34-43 record. Since he’s been negotiating for Porzingis, they are 7-12 years old and just need to pass this season. To help them really get ahead, here’s a list of three players the Wizards need to trade in the 2022 NBA offseason.

Candidate sales assistants

Rui Hachimura

It was a great debut for the Japanese player in the NBA. Hachimura was the 9th pick and had an immediate impact, averaging 13.5 points per game for the Wizards in the 2019-20 season. It was much the same in the 2020-21 season, where he upped the average to 13.8 points, shot better percentage from the field and from three-point range, and he looked set for a year in small groups. Then, as the season started, it was announced that Hachimura would miss the first part of the season due to personal issues. It was never revealed what the issues were, but Hachimura has only played 37 games this season, and he doesn’t look good, dropping to just 10.9 points and 3.6 rebounds. If there was ever a time to trade it, it’s now.

It makes sense on all levels. The Wizards aren’t here to wait for prospects, as their dynamic duo of Bradley Beal and Kristaps Porzingis are 28 and 26, respectively. Additionally, this will be Hachimura’s fourth season, which means he will be a free agent in the summer of 2023. So the 2022 offseason, and up to the 2023 trade deadline, is the last chance. to exchange it for any type of value. He is still an effective wing scorer who can get hot if given a team’s time and dedication. The Wizards, with their roster schedule, just aren’t that team and the Japan international is expected to be aggressively bought into the league over the coming summer.

Deni Avdija

Avdija is a bit of a similar case to Hachimura. Interestingly enough, both of these guys were ninth picks, both had great moments, but both really shouldn’t be on the roster anymore. Now, for Avdija, he’s had far fewer playing opportunities than Hachimura. It’s his second season and his first was pretty disappointing, averaging just 6.3 points in 23.3 minutes per game. The second saw the Israeli player take a small step forward, but as said above, the Wizards aren’t exactly in the business of patience. They need help right away and if that means swapping Avdija, then so be it.

It’s actually quite odd that the Wizards insisted on bringing Avdija to the NBA. When drafted in 2020, the Israeli striker was just 19, which is a tender age for a physically underdeveloped striker. If he was a center who can rely on his size to survive his early years in the league, that would have been somewhat acceptable, but the main problem Avdija faces is simply the lack of physicality. His six-foot-nine frame just isn’t packed with just 260 pounds in weight and he’ll just need time to fully develop his NBA game. Thus, wizards should look to trade him with a team that will give him a chance. He deserves a real opportunity in the NBA, as his talent is visible. The Wizards need instant help pieces for their playoff fight next season.

Kyle Kuzma

Kuzma is going to be a controversial choice. He’s been great for the Wizards at times this season, putting on some monster games. He’s scored 30-plus points three times this season, including two 36-point games. On the season, he averaged 17.1 points, 8.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists, while shooting 45.2% from the field and 34.1% from behind the arc. Those are decent numbers, but they’re also probably the best Kuzma can do at this point in his career. If he had All-Star potential, those few more modest seasons in Los Angeles have slowed him down to the point where it’s the peak of his game. That, however, doesn’t mean there won’t be any takers for the forward, and the Wizards should sell high on the former Laker.

Another major reason the Wizards should trade Kuzma is the inclusion of Kristaps Porzingis in the roster. According to StatMuse, the Wizards are 1-5 when Porzingis and Kuzma play. Admittedly, this is a very small number of games, but it cannot be ignored. Porzingis wants to play forward primarily and Kuzma can’t be the small forward because the Wizards would suffer too much on the defensive end. With Porzingis being the former All-Star and a guy who could be the other end of the punch with Bradley Beal, Kuzma appears to be the prime candidate for a trade. It’s a good time for a trade, because the Wizards would sell a lot on him, so they should really pull the trigger this offseason.

Sixers, Doc Rivers, Joel Embiid