The worst team in the NBA could be looking to make a blockbuster trade in the near future.
The Washington Wizards sit at the bottom of the Eastern Conference with a 6-28 record and virtually no chance of competing for a playoff spot. The trade deadline is a little over a month away, but there are already rumors that Washington could make a move for a big name.
According to the Memphis Commercial-Appeal, the Wizards have discussed a possible deal with the Memphis Grizzlies. Washington would receive Rudy Gay in exchange for Bradley Beal. Other players would have to be involved because of the salary cap rules, but Gay and Beal would be the two main pieces in the deal.
Gay has been mentioned in a number of trade rumors, recently. Memphis has reportedly discussed dealing the forward, who is owed $37.2 million over the next two seasons. The Grizzlies have played well with Gay off the floor, and might consider unloading his contract, if they can find a taker.
Despite the report, a number of NBA writers seem to be skeptical of the report, indicating that the Grizzlies may have started the rumor, hoping to raise Gay’s value on the open market. Beal was the third overall selection in the 2012 NBA Draft, and it would be difficult for the Grizzlies to acquire him for the seven-year veteran.
Beal has struggled somewhat this season. The rookie is averaging 13.2 points per game on just 36.7 percent shooting. Coming out of Florida, Beal was known to be a great shooter, but hasn’t reached his potential yet.
Still, Washington isn’t likely to deal a first-year player who doesn’t make a lot of money. They aren’t close to competing for a championship, and it wouldn’t make sense for them to add an expensive player who isn’t consider a superstar. Gay is averaging 17.9 points per game for his career, but has never made an All-Star team.
A more likely trade partner for Washington might be the Sacramento Kings. DeMarcus Cousins name has been floated in multiple reports this season. According to a report by USA Today’s Sam Amick in late December, the Denver Nuggets, Detroit pistons, Houston Rockets and Boston Celtics have expressed interest in acquiring Cousins, along with the Wizards.
Cousins was selected fifth overall in 2010. At times, he has played like the best big man in the game, averaging 17.4 points and 10.1 rebounds per game this season. However, his disagreements with head coach Keith Smart and antics on the court have caused Sacramento to think about moving him.
Washington might be the ideal landing spot for Cousins. His friend and former teammate at Kentucky, John Wall, plays for the Wizards. Amick reported that two sources told him a trade to Washington “would be considered ideal for Cousins.”
The Kings center recently hired Dan Fegan as his agent. Fegan represents Wall, as well as Dwight Howard, who was looking to be traded during his last season with the Orlando Magic.
Sacramento might be reluctant to trade such a talented player, especially with the team likely changing ownership. However, Cousins's issues may force the Kings' hand.