Wizards Poised To Make A Splash?

MIAMI — The Washington Wizards have been down this road before, making moves as the draft approaches and preparing themselves for what could be, if everything falls into place.

Their ongoing real franchise makeover that began at the trade deadline with the addition of Nene for JaVale McGee was followed up with this afternoon’s announcement that the Wizards have acquired Emeka Okafor and Trevor Ariza from the New Orleans Hornets for Rashard Lewis and the No. 46 pick in next week’s draft.

“We are pleased to add two more solid pieces as we continue to build our roster with a balance of proven veterans and the core of young talent that we have developed,” Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld said in a statement released by the team. “Emeka’s defensive presence and rebounding ability will combine with Trevor’s versatility to add new dimensions to our frontcourt, and both players fit in very well with the type of team-first culture that we have been working to establish.”

The Wizards get two starters to flank John Wall and Nene from the Hornets in exchange for Lewis and the cap flexibility he will bring. Lewis can be bought out for $13.7 million by the June 30 deadline, which is roughly half of the nearly $23 million he is owed next season. The Hornets have not indicated what direction they plan to go with Lewis, but his expiring deal will give them some room to work with in free agency sooner or later.

The Wizards also have the No. 3 pick in next week’s Draft, giving them several options in trying to add a quality shooting guard or small forward, a player pool that could potentially include the likes of Michael Kidd-Gilcrhrist, Harrison Barnes and Bradley Beal, players expected to be among the top five picks in the Draft.

The Wizards’ attempts to surround Wall with veterans and high-character teammates remain their clearest path to returning to playoff contention. Both Okafor and Ariza are eight-year veterans and well-respected around the league for their professionalism and championship experience; Ariza won a ring with the Lakers in 2009.

The Hornets have the No. 1 pick in next week’s Draft and no doubt have rebuilding plans of their own, a blueprint with likely No. 1 pick Anthony Davis as the centerpiece. But the Wizards have a chance to accelerate the process with this latest move.


  1. mahmoud BM says:

    The wizards SHOULD sign aaron brooks,because he’d be a good backup behind john wall, he could try to play SG, and, if John Wall gets injured what would happen, plus he’s not that expensive, take ur chance DC and sign a good X-FACTOR

  2. ADX says:

    what about draft MKG and sign ray allen… proven outside shooter in the nba with very good veteran leadership and experience..?

    • Rip Greenfire says:

      Do you see Ray Allen signing to the Wizards? He doesn’t want money, he wants rings, and even though the Wizards might make a push later, they’re not doing it this year.

  3. Wiz4life says:

    I like it….can’t be any worse than this past year. The Wiz got nothing from Lewis and that late second round pick will likely not make the team. Once you amnesty Blatch it would seemed to be a good move from my perspective. We can all be critical but we are talking about the Wiz…not too many free agents are looking at this team to come to based on what I’ve seen.

  4. Alpha Base says:

    Now it starts to get boring…
    Told you all we need a game 7.
    But, naaaaah. No one listened and they don’t want to risk it….

  5. dahaf says:

    They should draft beal and if they have enough cap room, maybe sign a solid backup off the bench. They could potentially contend, but then again they are in the same division as the Heat. Hawks, and Magic so it would be tough. They could win probably up to 35 games cuz rite now the only teams that are elite in the east are Miami, Chicago, maybe Boston, Atlanta, and maybe the Magic (if they get better players to surround Dwight). All the other teams are young and solid but not good enough to beat Miami or Chicago.

  6. BlGBALSACS says:

    LOL this is no doubt a good trade for Washington, added some serious veteran players to that scrub team.

  7. Dwyane Wade says:

    great move by Washington. if they draft beal, they going to have a playoff contending team. john wall would now have a starting unit capable of putting the ball in the basket and he will be expected to lead them this year.

    but goodluck to anyone getting past the conference finals, quite honestly…

  8. JHCT says:

    Who here believes John Wall will stick around beyond his rookie contract?

    Cause I have doubts.

  9. John says:

    The Wizards easily, obviously benefit. They just gained a lot of strength at a financial discount. However, this means they need to cut their rebuilding efforts short and go into playoff mode. If they can’t at least reach the second round of the playoffs this year, then this could be a questionable move.

    The Hornets have just become an even worse team in the short term, if that were possible. The upside for them is that by next year, they’ll have an entire 10 or 11 players on their payroll for something like $23 million, plus whatever they offer Eric Gordon in free agency if they choose to bring him back. That roster will include the #1 pick this summer, a likely high lottery pick next summer, and enough cap space to bring-in 2 or 3 star free agents. So the Hornets are making moves to excel in the 13-14 season.

  10. Diana says:

    I forgot to mention that Crowder is a 35% 3 point shooter.

  11. J.R. says:

    This is a great move for Washington. They have been in a funk for the past few years. Once they have some solid pieces that want to win around John Wall they can get back to respectability.

  12. K-IN-G says:

    Not seeing the Wizards acheiving anything more than more tickets!! I see teams that are making impact, like the pacers or the kings, but just not there yet. Maybe they need John Wall!!

  13. Tygger2K6 says:

    7th or 8th spot in the playoffs? You mean they’re gonna fight over the Knicks with that? With John Wall?

  14. Joe says:

    Bad move by the wizards, it makes sence and they will fit well but the one big problem i have here is health. Nene and okafor are both injury prone and i see them missing more than half the season as usual which once again leaves them with a starting line up of mostly reserve players, bad bad trade. Wizards will be just as bad as this year and john wall will walk out on them as soon as he can.

  15. Tony from Sydney says:

    What a steal for the Wizards? I personally did not like the move for McGee for Nene, but this one is the best move they’ve ever made. 2 solid and very underrated defenders, with decent offensive production from low post and outside, they have everything between the 2. Good job from an OKC fan.

  16. DJ3 says:

    Wait a minute, didn’t they acquire Nene? Have they forgot about him? Okafor and Nene both play Center so… ?

  17. Alex says:

    Great deal for the Wizards, good frontcourt with Okafor/Nene as starters and Vesely/Seraphin as talented back up. The two European players showed some great things last year, and they’ll keep improving !

  18. HeatKingsOfEast says:

    the problem in wizards is not the players or roster of the team. the main problem is the poor coaching staff of wizards franchise not to mention, remember flip saunders? ahahhahaha very funny

  19. argel says:

    no win pa rin kayo

  20. Matt says:

    I like the trade from the Wizards, adding 2 solid role players who will help to develop the youngsters on the team. I just wonder if the Wizards are trying to avoid having their franchise player leave them like what happened in Cleveland & potentially in Orlando… Yes every team wants to win, but I think that the Wizards are really trying to accelerate the process with this trade. By adding 3 very solid role players & getting rid of Lewis’ contract, they are going to keep their ‘Franchise’ guy happy if they live up to their potential & possibly secure the 7th or 8th seed this season…

  21. Raf says:

    The Wizards screaming “we’re going to draft Beal” with this move.


    If their bench youngsters keep developing, that’s a team which should at least compete for a playoff spot next season.

  22. LABC says:

    I personally believe the Wizards have made a great trade. On the hand, the Wizards can’t get all excited before the start of the season. They’ve got to focus on next week’s draft and also on who makes the final roster for the 2012/13 season. ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS!

  23. BigGee says:

    The deal makes sense for both teans, The Wiz get proven, professional & productive players while NOLA gets the financial flexibility to sign their own FA’s (which is their top priority i.e. Eric Gordon). I thought the Wiz would make a run at Kevin Martin from Houston to fill the need at SG; It has been speculated that Houston was looking to deal him. The draft should not be impacted by the move made today (YOU SHOULD ALWAYS TAKE THE BEST PLAYER AVAILABLE REGARDLESS!!!)

  24. Borge says:

    This is a very nice move for the Wizards. As for the Hornets, well they’re looking for more deals and hoping to score big in the Draft Night.

  25. Wizards starter (if they pick Bradley Beal):

    PG: Wall
    SG: Beal
    SF: Ariza
    PF: Okafor
    C: Nene

    If they pick Harrison Barnes or Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, they coould start either of them or Ariza at the 2 or 3 spot. For me this is an OK team, with reserves Andray Blatche, Maurice Evans, Jan Vesely, Jordan Crawford…


      Beal is the obvious pickt for the team because of the outside shooting he brings, but Kidd-Gilchrist is an intriguing pick because he played in a system where no one was the number one option. He’d complement Wall extremely will and he’s got the upside to be an elite defender unlike Beal. Honestly, this team is only missing a proven veteran who’s skills haven’t slid off the face of the earth. I’d love to see them sign Brandon Roy! If they managed that and Roy stayed health (BIG IF!!!!), this team would be my darkhorse out of the east


    • .... says:

      He announced on Twitter that he’s coming back………….

  26. topherc says:

    i think this is a good move .. all they need is a sg that fits john wall . maybe tyreke evans will be a very good fit because they both fast and athletic ..

  27. Mason says:

    Both teams benefit from this. Wizards benefit more in my opinion. Hornets however, have Kamen as center, which explains why Okafor is not needed. Also, with Anthony Davis coming, they are set for paint players. Lewis will replace Ariza fine. I believe Hornets will be a little better next season, but still is a serious rebuilding team. The Wizards have now made a huge step to become a competitive team! Nene and Okafor under the net!!! John Wall as point guard, and now Ariza for an offensive push with those players! They are in need for improvement and this could jump-start them to do so. Maybe Sessions could be picked out from freeagency too??? Good trade by the Wizards though!

  28. Amitpal says:

    This is a good move for both teams. Hornets get cap relief and wizards can turn that immature locker around and make it more mature. This should be a good defensive team next year. But they really need a shooter at the two so I could see them draft beal. Actually drafting beal would be the smartest choice and they could become a playoff team next year.

    • GO CELTICS! says:

      WHAT!!!! Wizzrds a playoff team by next year WOW what are you smokin dude cuz I definately want some of that LMFAO!!!

      • KareemOfTheCrop says:

        It doesnt take a great record to get the 8th seed in the East. Philly did it this year with a 35-31 reocrd

  29. Jami says:

    Coach Brooks from OKC was the reason THE THUNDER lost last night. OKC needs a Prime Time Coach.
    Like Phil Jackson.

  30. Cord says:

    The Wizards apparently want to “lease” Okafor and Ariza to help out the youngsters in the locker room and continue to build with youth….but the problem is that they are absorbing some heavy deals in the process. It will be really interesting to see how they draft, they definitely need some 3pt shooting to surround Wall with.

    • D.C. fan says:

      yeah, but you gotta understand that with all the talent around the league, it’s not just as simple as having a situation where both sides see the advantage and disadvantage the same way. Just like the situation in Dallas, or Phoenix, you have a situation where the plusses and minuses are considered by both sides before action can be taken with any degree of confidence. It’s not like in NYC where there are completely different situations. This is very different and should not be confused with something that it truly IS NOT! you have to be very careful, but you also have to be bold. To make the right move, it takes careful planning. Just because one side or the other is or is not someone who will work with you, it doesnt mean that there isnt a clown dancing in the street on the other side. Both sides benefit here, in proportion to their needs. GOOD TRADE!

      • what?????? says:

        what??????? You are funny! It makes NO sence at all

      • T. Raps says:

        You, sir, are the Hemingway of incoherent rants.

        Interesting trade though. I can’t see it drastically improving the Wizard’s future. They are going to need a gem in the upcoming draft if they are ever to be taken seriously in this league characterized by multi-superstar teams.