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There’s been much speculation regarding what the Washington Wizards will do in Emeka Okafor’s absence, especially considering that Okafor might have been the most irreplaceable player on the roster. Most of Washington’s options will probably come within the team since they have a bevy of bigs on their bench, but possible trade scenarios will also come into play.
The Wizards recently signed free agent swingman, Josh Childress, to a training camp deal which definitely increased our suspicion of a possible trade. Ben Standig of CSN Washington, also speculated on the interesting move regarding Childress and trade options;
There is another thought from the purely speculative side of the aisle: The Wizards are prepping in case they make a trade.
Because of the glut at forward, imagining the team dealing one of its frontcourt options always seemed possible. That could mean Ariza, who enters the final year of his contract. That could mean one of their young bigs, though Chris Singleton’s foot injury clouds that angle a smidge.
Of course, the Wizards have always been a team that played their cards close to their chest, so everything you’ll see regarding any trades is pure speculation. With that said, the Wizards don’t have very many tradeable assets on the roster. Emeka Okafor and Trevor Ariza are both entering the final seasons of their contracts, which probably makes them the most appealing options to the rest of the league. Since Washington decided to bring Childress to camp, even though they’re already loaded at the small forward position, you’d have to speculate on Ariza’s future in Washington. With Martell Webster and Otto Porter Jr. locked up, trading Ariza for a serviceable replacement for Okafor would only make sense.
If that’s the case, it’d be virtually impossible for the Wizards to get anything remotely close to Okafor’s value back in a trade involving just Ariza. After taking a look around the presumably available bigs in the NBA, it’s easy to notice that there isn’t many centers that could be nearly as productive as Okafor in Washington’s system. The Wizards would probably be taking on a rental big in a trade, just to hopefully fill the void during free agency in 2014.
Because trades are so unpredictable and unlikely, the Wizards will probably just stick with what they have. I’m sure Ernie Grunfeld and the rest of the Wizards’ brass will concentrate on keeping Okafor’s expiring contract on the books, but they’ll probably be fielding offers for Ariza this upcoming season. In fact, the Wizards had reportedly agreed to trade Ariza to the Los Angeles Clippers in exchange for former Wizard Caron Butler, but their plans were nixed before the deal was finalized.
Emeka Okafor is obviously very important in Washington, and Washington’s management understands that, especially since their jobs are depending on making the post season. If they could fill the void via trade, as we’ve seen in the past, I’m sure they won’t be hesitant to pull the trigger.
What are your thoughts on the Childress signing? Will the Wizards try to fill Okafor’s void via trade? Let me know in the comment section.