Last season, the Washington Wizards missed the playoffs after posting a 41-41 record. Despite their two breakout seasons before this year’s collapse, the Wizards appeared to be a team on the rise, but now it’s clear that they need to make some big time changes. They started their remodeling by hiring former Oklahoma City Thunder head coach Scott Brooks. Brooks coached superstars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook in Oklahoma City throughout his tenure; however, the hiring of Brooks isn’t going to cut it. This team needs a lot more change than just a new head coach. They need a new identity with pieces that fit well together, and this process begins with trading point guard John Wall.
Dealing John Wall for DeMarcus Cousins
This summer, there have been rumors saying that point guard John Wall and shooting guard Bradley Beal have a terrible relationship and can’t stand playing with each other. If that’s truly the case, then the Wizards have made it clear with which guard they’ve sided with. By signing Beal to a monster 5 year, $128 million deal, the Wizards have stated who their preference is pretty clearly. With Beal in the fold for the long haul, Wall needs to go.
Despite the fact that Wall has been the face of the franchise for nearly his entire time with the Wizards, he is the odd man out in this situation; however, the Wizards can benefit from that. They also have the perfect player to trade him for in Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins.
Cousins, the best center in the NBA, is the most skilled player at his position in the past decade. He is unstoppable in the post, can play out on the perimeter, is a monster in the paint offensively, and when he puts his mind to it, is a good defender. But with these listed reasons, why would the Kings think of trading him?
Cousins has had his share of issues over the past few years. He has been labeled as a coach killer, especially with the situation that took place with his former coach George Karl, and he is said to be a selfish player who can’t control his emotions on the court. However, these assumptions and actions are due to him being in a losing environment. If Cousins is dealt to Washington, he has a very good chance to get in the playoffs, especially if the Wizards take advantage of their overwhelming big man depth in the trade market.
Replacing Wall with Ricky Rubio
Although trading for Cousins would create a logjam at center with Marcin Gortat, and recently signed Ian Mahinmi, the Wizards have ways that they can wheel and deal their big men. Currently in Minnesota, the Timberwolves have a logjam at point guard with Zach LaVine, number five pick Kris Dunn, and Ricky Rubio. Rubio would be a great fit on the Wizards. His passing abilities and perimeter defense would gel in nicely with the Wizards. While Beal struggles with his defensive play, Rubio does not. Rubio, like Wall, provides a defensive spark that aids Beal’s defensive flaws, and Rubio’s passing abilities would benefit Cousins, as last year proved.
Last season, the Kings signed point guard Rajon Rondo to play the point for them and get everybody involved, and no one benefited from his play more than Demarcus Cousins. Rondo’s flashy play led to Cousins getting more looks in the paint, and it led to him getting more touches out on the perimeter; Rubio’s game is nearly identical to Rondo’s. Rubio’s presence with Cousins would provide the Wizards with a lethal point guard-center duo.
Why Sacramento Pulls the Trigger
Currently the Kings are crowded at the center position with Cousins, Kosta Koufos, and Willie Cauley-Stein, and they need to trade at least one of them; Cousins is the obvious choice. He hasn’t been the greatest fit in Sacramento. His departure would be good for the organization and getting a player like John Wall would do wonders for their squad. Wall is the type of point guard that the Kings have been craving for in recent years; he’s a two way threat. He’s one of the league’s most aggressive offensive playmakers, is good at finding his teammates, and is a defensive force. Wall would be a great fit in Sacramento, and the same goes for Gortat in Minnesota.
Why Minnesota Pulls the Trigger
The Timberwolves drafting point guard Kris Dunn is a signal that Ricky Rubio is going to eventually be moved. That being said, now is actually the best time for them to trade him. By acquiring Gortat, the Timberwolves would have a man in the paint to protect phenom big Karl-Anthony Towns. Towns is a great young player and is destined to be a hall of fame caliber big man, but he still needs time to get stronger before he’s permanently penciled in as the starting center; Gortat gives the Timberwolves that buffer. He is a two-way big that can play in the post, which is a very valuable skill set. By dealing Rubio for Gortat, the Timberwolves clear out their crowded point guard situation, giving Kris Dunn the opportunity to take the keys to the offense, and they get a protector in the paint for Towns.
The Wizards Become a Big Threat in the East
If the Wizards can deal Wall for a player of Cousins’s caliber, they will finally have that superstar on their roster to give the ball to inside. They’ll also fix their internal issue in their backcourt with Wall and Beal. By trading Gortat for Rubio, the Wizards acquire a point guard who plays similar to, and has some of the same skill sets as John Wall, while helping out their new franchise player, Demarcus Cousins.
By trading John Wall for Demarcus Cousins, and trading Marcin Gortat for Ricky Rubio, the Wizards become a much improved team that can give the Cleveland Cavaliers a run for their money in the Eastern Conference.