The Washington Wizards are among the teams interested in moving their top-10 selection from the upcoming draft. According to ESPN NBA Draft expert Jonathan Givony, the Wizards are widely expected to make the no.10 pick available for a proven guard.
The Wizards hope to build around Bradley Beal and are in “win now” mode as the superstar star guard is expected to become a free agent this or next offseason. Beal missed the second part of the 2021-22 season with injury.
Caldwell-Pope and Ish Smith are the only guards guaranteed to be under contract for the Wizards next season as of now, since Beal has a player option and could decide to become a free agent.
After sneaking into the playoffs with a 34-38 record in 2020-21, the Wizards experienced a downturn this season, going 35-47 and finishing 12th in the Eastern Conference. The Wizards became the latest team willing to trade out of the 2022 NBA Draft.
Several reports suggest San Antonio, New Orleans and Sacramento are among the teams willing to give up their top-ten selection for a win-now piece. For the Wizards, making moves to ensure that Beal will stay with the franchise seem to be the priority.
According to NBA insider Marc Stein, Beal pushed back against requesting a trade in the past and seems to be favoring a return to the Wizards. He wants to become the “Dirk Nowitzki of the Wizards” and build something special in Washington.
Atlanta Hawks willing to put together a lucrative package for Rudy Gobert
A recent report from Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer indicates that there has been “plenty of talk among league personnel” regarding Atlanta as a potential trade destination for Jazz center Rudy Gobert.
The star center could be on his way out of Utah after the departure of head coach Quin Snyder. The Hawks could put together a lucrative trade package consisting of “some combination of” Clint Capela, Kevin Huerter, John Collins and this year’s No. 16 pick.
In more rumors referring to Atlanta, Chris Kirschner of The Athletic says, “discussions have occurred” with the Portland Trail Blazers to potentially acquire the No. 7 pick with the hope of adding a good perimeter defender.
Atlanta could be aggressive in the June 23 draft as it tries to upgrade its roster after a disappointing season. Clearly, the Hawks will look to upgrade on the defensive side of the court this offseason.
Sixers not expected to add veteran back-up center this summer
The Philadelphia 76ers are feeling comfortable with the current brass of back-up centers, and they are not expected to add a veteran piece behind Joel Embiid this offseason, per Kyle Neubeck of Philly Voice.
Philly signed Andre Drummond as the back-up center behind MVP candidate Joel Embiid last summer. The Sixers currently “feel good” about their young bigs Paul Reed and Charles Bassey, Neubeck reports.
The Sixers will hope to use their resources to upgrade their depth chart in the wing and the guard position. Rivers had no choice but to utilize Reed late in the regular season and during the playoffs.
After the James Harden trade, in which Philly sent Andre Drummond and Seth Curry to Brooklyn along with Ben Simmons, Reed received consistent minutes. Following the 2022 postseason, it seems Reed has won Rivers’ trust and he will have a bigger role.
Last season, Bassey spent some time playing in the G League with Philly’s affiliate, the Delaware Blue Coats. In 17 games, Bassey averaged a double-double as he put up 18.0 points per game and came down with 10.0 rebounds per game.
In other rumors from Philadelphia, the Sixers are gauging teams’ interest in Tobias Harris, Matisse Thybulle, Furkan Korkmaz and Shake Milton to go along with Danny Green and Philly’s No. 23 pick, per The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Keith Pompey.
Potential moves will free enough cap space or add more depth in the team. Daryl Morey reportedly wants to keep James Harden, according to CBS Sports’ Michael Kaskey-Blomain. Harden could opt out of his current deal and sign a new one this offseason.
The Sixers can offer the maximum price to Harden, who was the priced trade chip in the Ben Simmons saga that ended with sending the Australian to Brooklyn. Obviously, Harden, Embiid and Maxey seem to be the only untouchables for Philadelphia as of now.
Teams can’t make trades until free agency opens on July 6, so there is still some time before the Sixers will actually be able to make a move.