5 realistic centers the Wizards could pursue via trade

After an NBA offseason full of trade rumors circulating around the Houston Rockets and their MVP players in Russell Westbrook and James Harden, the Rockets finally gave in and decided to ship Westbrook to the Washington Wizards to pair with Bradley Beal.

On Wednesday night, news surfaced that the Houston Rockets were sending Russell Westbrook to the Washington Wizards in exchange for John Wall and a lottery-protected 2023 first-round pick via Washington. 

While it is big news in the NBA that Westbrook and Wall are swapping places, it really should not come as a surprise. Russell Westbrook verbally told media members that he was unhappy in Houston and did not like the direction the franchise was trending in. It was not a matter of if the Rockets would trade away Westbrook, it was a matter of when they would do it. 

From the Wizards perspective, this is a great trade for them for a couple of reasons. While it may be sad to see John Wall go, as he has spent 10 years as a member of the Wizards organization, he was a major liability both player wise and financially for Washington. Wall is owed a little bit over $130M over the course of the next three seasons, assuming he opts into his player option for the 2022-23 season worth $47.4M. For a player that has not stepped on the court since December of 2018, this was a major risk by the Wizards to keep him and flipping him for a player like Westbrook makes complete sense.

Not only does Russell Westbrook have a strong relationship with Wizards head coach Scott Brooks, as he played for him for 6 seasons with the OKC Thunder, but Westbrook’s contract is almost identical to Wall’s, making the financials match up, and you know what you are getting with him. There is such a big question mark around if John Wall can play anymore at the high level he used to play out and going out and grabbing a former league MVP was a great move for Washington. 

Now, all the Wizards need to be a threat in the Eastern Conference is a reliable center. Thomas Bryant has been solid early on in his career and while he can definitely continue to improve into a stretch big man, the Wizards must pursue a veteran and proven big man who can contribute immediately.

With not many big-name centers available, here are the five realistic centers the Wizards should pursue in the near-future. 

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