Rumors are swirling around the NBA draft right now regarding trades. Sam Amico of FOX Sports says the Washington Wizards and Milwaukee Bucks have discussed a trade involving the Wizards third overall pick for the Bucks forward Ersan Ilyasova.
The Wizards have been mentioning adding a forward who can stretch the floor for several seasons. Ernie has tried multiple times to add a forward who can space the floor with their shooting and talks about adding a stretch 4 in nearly every press interview. Even point guard John Wall has mentioned wanting to add a stretch 4 to the offense this off-season as they feel this is the last piece of the puzzle the Wizards are missing on offense, assuming Martell Webster re-signs to play small forward.
Ersan Ilyasova would immediately help the Wizards as a stretch 4. Ilyasova averaged 13 points and 7 rebounds a game in the 2012-13 season. He shot 45 percent from beyond the three point line and he has an ability to both rebound the ball as well as defend other stretch 4s. This would definitely help the Wizards offense out immediately. He also routinely seems to out-rebound the Wizards’ forwards anytime they play each other. Ilyasova is one of those “Wizards Killers” that seem to lurk around the league. If a trade like this does goes down, other players would have to be involved outside of just the 3rd pick, and the hope would be Washington could bring back another young big, such as John Henson.
Rumors always surface around NBA Draft time, but I hope this trade doesn’t take place. The Wizards have traded top 5 draft picks in the past for veterans to fill immediate needs and we all know how that worked out for them. I think they should keep the 3rd overall pick and take either Otto Porter or Anthony Bennett. The Wizards are high on both players and they’ll be cheaper than Ilyasova. He is currently under a 5 year contract which totals near $40 million (3 years and $23.7 million left).
Althougth Ilyasova is still only 26, Washington needs to think long term. In the past they haven’t always done that. Trading Rasheed Wallace for Rod Strickland, Chris Webber for Mitch Richmond, Rip Hamilton for Jerry Stackhouse, the 5th overall pick for Antawn Jamison and the 5th overall pick for Mike Miller and Randy Foye, never worked out well for the Wizards long term.
Since the Wizards are very high on Otto Porter and Anthony Bennett, they should draft them. Each player can help them fill their needs immediately and they’ll be a building block for the teams future.