It wasn't that long ago when the Washington Wizards were the feel-good story of the East. In the aftermath of the Russell Westbrook trade, the team shocked audiences by putting together a 10-3 record early on, which marked their best start since 1974.
Unfortunately, the performance didn't hold and it did not take long for things to start swinging the other way.
Now, the Wizards are in freefall with talk of trading two core contributors at the deadline.
Executives around the league believe the two players most likely Wizards to be traded are Montrezl Harrell and Davis Bertans. For Harrell, part of it is deductive reasoning given he is on an expiring contract, at a position of relative depth on the roster and because Gafford recently got an extension. The same could be applied to Thomas Bryant, though at 24 he offers upside and would likely be re-signed for cheaper this summer.
Harrell, though, is objectively one of the Wizards' best players and if they want to make the playoffs, his consistency as a scorer could help that cause. If he is traded, it could be for a player of similar stature but who helps them more on the defensive end.
Montrezl Harrell looked to be having a career resurgence before eventually falling off and seeing his numbers dip. Still, as a great scorer and enforcer, he has value on the trade market and D.C. might find some intriguing opportunities if they put him on the table.
Bertans, meanwhile, could be huge for a team looking to add shooting. Just two seasons ago he was averaging 15.4 points per game on 42% shooting from downtown.
With both players, the Wizards could get a haul in return that could include some young players, picks, or even some veteran role-players who could help get the team back on track.
At this point, if you're the Wizards, what more have you got to lose?