4 Players Trail Blazers should steal from Wizards after Bradley Beal trade

Bradley Beal, Washington Wizards (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images)
Bradley Beal, Washington Wizards (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images) /
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The WIzards Daniel Gafford would be a good trade target for the Portland Trail Blazers.
Daniel Gafford, Washington WIzards (Photo by Jess Rapfogel/Getty Images) /

2. C Daniel Gafford

Jusuf Nurkic is no longer the answer in Portland. The Blazers are reportedly trying to shop their long-time center, but his contract and decline in both health and play will make that difficult.

Enter Gafford, who can take over for Nurk if general manager Joe Cronin is able to find a suitable trade partner, or play significant minutes if Nurkic stays and gets bumped toward more of a bench role by head coach Chauncey Billups.

Similar to Wright, Gafford is undervalued but would give the Blazers exactly what they need – a center who can defend the rim, rebound, and give just enough offensively as a pick-and-roll partner for Lillard, but do all of it at a higher level than Nurkic.

The 6-foot-10, 234-pound Gafford is only 24 years old and is coming off a season in which he averaged 9.0 points (on a wildly efficient 73.2 percent shooting), 5.6 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks for the Wizards. Not eye-popping numbers, but he did it in only 20.6 minutes per game.

Per 36-minutes, those numbers jump to 15.8 points, 9. 7 rebounds, and 2.2 blocks.

Almost half of Gafford’s rebounds – 49.4 percent – were contested rebounds, meaning the boards he grabbed were within 3.5 feet of an opposing player. He knows how to use his body to box out and has great timing.

A 6-10 center who can rebound, defend the rim and move his feet (and makes $3-4 million less per year) would provide a significant boost to Portland’s defense.