The Washington Wizards announced a trade deal this afternoon which sent small forward Rashard Lewis and Washington’s late second round pick to the New Orleans Hornets in exchange for forwards Emeka Okafor and Trevor Ariza. The trade completes the image removal of former Wizard Gilbert Arenas and reduces the possible choices for Washington’s third overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft. Here’s a look at the current Wizards depth chart.
With several questions answered–Ernie Grunfeld to remain General Manager, Randy Wittman to remain Head Coach, and Rashard Lewis gone to New Orleans–Washington will enter the 2012 NBA Draft with some size up front, a wing who can play defense and knock down threes, and one last question: will Andray Blatche remain a Wizard?
Wizards reserve forward-center Kevin Seraphin stepped up while Blatche remained locked away with his mid-season “conditioning” tag line, and while Blatche spoke to the media three times during his 40-game absence, he never sat down on Washington’s bench. After being booed by hometown fans for his lack of production, he explained his process as wanting to stay away from the “hype zone.” As such, the Wizards went on with Seraphin, and then Nene after a mid-season trade.
2012-13 Wizards Depth Chart
– Kevin Seraphin
– Trevor Booker
– Emeka Okafor
– Andray Blatche
– Trevor Ariza
– Chris Singleton
– Jan Vesely
– Jordan Crawford
– John Wall
– Shelvin Mack
With Okafor and Ariza the Wizards are getting two guys who know their roles. Okafor could be, for all purposes, a Blatche-replacement, while Ariza is a defensive-minded wing who will likely beat out Chris Singleton for the starting small forward job. Both players can rebound the ball and Okafor gives Washington another player who can work inside. The Wizards will likely follow this trade by acquiring shooting guard Bradley Beal (Florida) with their third overall pick in the upcoming 2012 NBA Draft.
Beal would give Washington a three-point shooter and he would likely result in Jordan Crawford coming off the bench to supply a sixth man role. With Ariza at the three the Wizards would have some size and flexibility despite a small backcourt of John Wall and Beal.
The Wizards have two picks (#3 and #32) in the upcoming 2012 NBA Draft, which will be held at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ, on June 28.