Guys, it's happening. The first "Yeah, we're not getting anywhere this season" team has made its appearance. To be clear this isn't your already tanking team that knew they were going nowhere and will likely waive vets later in the season. These are teams that came into the season with playoff aspirations, only to play a few games and realize maybe they weren't as good as expected, then play a few more games and realize they actually aren't very good at all, then play a few more games and realize the entire team hates each other and there's nothing they can do. And if your argument is that the Cavs were technically the first "Yeah, we're not getting anywhere this season" team, I'm sorry to inform you that you were in a very small minority that expected way too much from the Cavs (that group includes Tristan Thompson for reference).
In any case, that team is the Wizards whose writing on the Wall (see what I did there) should've started this summer when they went out and got both Dwight Howard and Austin Rivers. Both serviceable players but questionable for a team with already so many personality and chemistry question marks. And despite all those question marks, a team with some actual talent to be had on the roster! So if the reports are true that any and all players are available, why not have some fun on the Trade Machine. I have been in the camp that the Spurs should wait until the season settles and all the contracts signed this past summer can also be included in trades, but I'm not the Spurs so I'm exempt from that and so are you!
My trade suggestion? Patty Mills and the Toronto pick for Markeiff Morris and Kelly Oubre. This trade does a few things.
First and foremost, it brings in an actual small forward in Oubre. Not a shooting guard that can play up to small forward, not a power forward that can play down to small forward, but an actual small forward. The Spurs have been able to mask over this hole in their roster because basketball has become so fluid and interchangeable that other players on the team can play small forward by committee without giving up too much on either end of the floor. However, the need is still there and Oubre would be a solution, especially considering the other desirable small forward on their roster is Otto Porter but his contract is so much larger and the Wizards asking price reportedly so high I doubt he'd be a realistic option.
Secondly, and I hate saying this cause it hurts me so much, but this trade alleviates some of the guard rotation redundancies. Patty is amazing and has done so much for the Spurs, and San Antonio at large. But his impact has diminished and what he does has been replicated by a younger and bigger model in Bryn Forbes. The team also has a combo guard waiting to take over the second unit in White and an athletic freak waiting to be let loose on the court in Lonnie Walker. The guard rotation looked tight coming into the season when all those guys were expected to get lesser roles. It looks even tighter now that some of those young guys have begun to exceed expectations and are showing that they warrant playing time. It becomes even more glaring when you consider Bryn does pretty much the same thing as Patty for a third of the cost. Which brings me to another point.
Financially, this move makes sense now and moving forward. Patty's contract, at the time, was warranted. With his improving play, importance to team culture, and role on the team, he earned every cent of his contract. But, like I mentioned, the Spurs have found a player who does very similar things for a fraction of the price in Bryn. Patty's contract is also only in the second year out of four. Unless he takes another small step forward, which isn't likely for a small point guard entering his 30's, the contract is going to age poorly. Incidentally, Morris and Oubre are on the last year of their contracts. Oubre will be a restricted free agent after this season meaning the Spurs would control his future. If he improves, they now have the chance to lock up a young wing for the foreseeable future. If he doesn't and neither play impresses, they at least improved a position of need for this season and now have the available cap space moving forward.
So what do yall think? What are your trade suggestions for the Wizards fire sale?