Washington Wizards: Breaking Down the Trade with Boston and Chicago

Washington Wizards Trade

The Washington Wizards were one of the major losers at the trade deadline, electing to make deals on the margins without addressing team needs. This sent a clear signal to Bradley Beal and Russell Westbrook the franchise is prioritizing the future over the 2020-21 season.

Breaking Down the Washington Wizards’ Trades with Boston and Chicago

General Manager Tommy Sheppard made one trade, moving on from Troy Brown and Mo Wagner. ESPN insider Adrian Wojnarowski reported the deal.

Not long after breaking the news, the trade expanded to include the Boston Celtics.


For a team that needed serious upgrades in a number of areas, this deal is hugely underwhelming.

Breaking down the Washington Wizards acquisitions

General Manager Tommy Sheppard provided some details behind the deal and gave reasons for these two acquisitions.

Yes, the Wizards defense upgraded with these acquisitions neither one is a significant contributor now.

Daniel Gafford is a 22-year-old big man in the middle of his sophomore season. At 6’11 with a 7’2 wingspan, Gafford uses his athleticism to play above the rim and shows signs of being an effective vertical spacer. He possesses a good motor, plays hard, and brings energy to the floor.

However, Gafford is prone to making mistakes on the defensive end. Despite showing potential as a high-level rim protector, he tends to chase blocks if he’s in the vicinity and leaves his man open under the basket. He is also prone to ball watching and often misses rotations.

Chandler Hutchison is a 24-year-old defensive-minded wing drafted 22nd overall in 2018. At 6’6 with a 7’1 wingspan, Hutchison has shown flashes as a solid off-the-bounce scorer with a nice floater game. Additionally, he attacks the rim with ferocity, throwing it down at every opportunity.

Despite this, Hutchison can’t hit the right side of a barn from the perimeter. Now in his third season, Hutchison is shooting just 29.7 percent from three and shows an unwillingness to take open jumpers. On a roster devoid of shooting, his skills don’t fit perfectly in an offense centered around Washington’s stars.

Washington Wizards needed Daniel Theis more than Chicago

When the deal was expanded to three-teams, Daniel Theis from the Boston Celtics was included. Strangely, it was the Chicago Bulls that acquired the German big man despite Washington needing a solid defensive big man who can stretch the floor.

Theis is averaging 9.5 points and 5.2 rebounds on 55 percent shooting and 34.7 percent from three. He does all the little things – defend, screen, hustle, and provides steady scoring each night. Theis would have been the perfect running mate for Westbrook and Beal but instead, makes his way to the Bulls whose roster now comprises four centers.

Playing with fire

Bradley Beal is one of the NBA’s hot commodities with the 27-year-old taking a leap into superstar stratosphere. Averaging a league-leading 31.7 points per game, Beal has demonstrated elite-level on-ball and off-ball scoring instincts. So much so, clubs around the NBA have been circling for the All-Star’s services since last season.

Beal has publically expressed a desire to stay in Washington however, he also wants to win games. The latter has failed to resonate with the Wizards Front Office and they appear to be comfortable gambling on his loyalty. Star players don’t stay in losing situations forever and it is somewhat surprising that Tommy Shephard elected to go this route.

Washington must hope this doesn’t blow up in their face.

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