The 2023 NBA offseason’s first significant trade sent Bradley Beal from the Washington Wizards to the Phoenix Suns for peanuts, or pennies on the dollar, or whichever metaphor you choose to use. It signaled to the league that Washington is kicking off a full-scale rebuild; if Beal was free to go, no one else is off limits, which makes it a perfect time for the Portland Trail Blazers to pillage what’s left of Washington’s roster.
The Blazers are in need of upgrades at multiple spots, and the Wizards’ talent pool is not barren. There are useful players to be had that would help make Portland’s goal of a postseason push next season more realistic.
4 players the Trail Blazers should try to swipe from the rebuilding Wizards
1. PG Delon Wright
Wright won’t wow anyone with his athleticism or skill set, but he’s a steady floor general with positional size and defensive ability, all of which are needed in Portland.
The 10-year-veteran is 6-foot-5, has a 3:1 assist-to-turnover ratio for his career and is coming off a season in which he averaged 1.8 steals a game for the Wiz. Wright has averaged more than a steal per game in eight of his 10 seasons and every year since 2018-19.
Washington was 26-24 in the 50 games he played last season. The team was 9-23 when he missed time with a hamstring injury.
Had he played at least 70 percent of the season, the 31-year-old would have finished second in the NBA in steals and seventh in deflections per game last year.
With Damian Lillard still on board, the Blazers should never hurt for offense, especially in the backcourt. But having a long-armed, 6-5 reserve who’s willing to play defense and do the dirty work without needing shots (Wright has never finished a season averaging more than 8.2 field goal attempts) is the ideal yin to Portland’s current yang.
Wright would also fit snugly into the $8.3 million trade exception the Blazers received as part of last year’s Gary Payton II trade. As it’s clear from the Beal deal that Washington is trying to shed salary and bottom out, Portland should be an attractive trade partner for Wright and the Wiz.