The Washington Wizards have been extremely active during this offseason period. Last week, the Wizards greenlit a massive trade that brought Kyle Kuzma, Montrezl Harrell, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Spencer Dinwiddie, Aaron Holiday, and rights to rookie Isaiah Todd. The Wizards have clearly strengthened their core around Bradley Beal, who doesn't appear to be leaving anytime soon. But this process actually started last year, when the Wizards got rid of one of their biggest stars who had a huge contract.
During the last offseason, the Wizards traded John Wall and a first-round pick for Russell Westbrook. Wall had been a former All-Star and a good player for the Wizards. Because of his great play for the Wizards, he signed a $171 million contract spread across 4 years. But his injury problems meant he hadn't played a game for the Wizards in almost two years at that point. Westbrook had another strong season, putting up incredible numbers on his way to yet another All-Star appearance. Westbrook and Beal had a rocky start but figured out their dynamic to help the Wizards secure the 8th seed in the 2021 NBA Playoffs.
The Wizards were eliminated in the first round by a much stronger Philadelphia 76ers team. But the season was still looked at as an overall success. Off the back of his performances, Westbrook garnered a lot of trade interest. Because of this, the Wizards were able to demand a huge haul from the Lakers to send Russell Westbrook to LA. But they expanded the deal, making it a five-team trade that involves the Nets, Pacers, and Spurs. The Wizards also got guards Spencer Dinwiddie and Aaron Holiday, along with the rights to the number 31 overall pick in the 2021 Draft Isaiah Todd.
Kuzma has struggled with the Lakers for the last few seasons, especially after the arrival of LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Both players play the same position as Kuzma, so his minutes reduced. Without consistent minutes, Kuzma couldn't keep up the consistent play that had made him an exciting prospect for the Lakers. KCP is a great three-point shooter and was the primary outlet beyond the arc for the Lakers. Montrezl Harrell is a former Sixth Man Of The Year who struggled for minutes with the Lakers. With more consistent playing time, Harrell can be a productive option for the Wizards.
Whereas Spencer Dinwiddie was one of the Nets' most prized possessions. They worked hard to ensure that they didn't have to give up Dinwiddie in the James Harden trade. But his injury meant Dinwiddie stayed sideline the whole season. Dinwiddie has been a proven guard who can average 20+ points and create his own shots. As for Aaron Holiday, he is a more than capable backup guard who has a lot of time left in his career to improve and establish himself as a starting guard. Isaiah Todd will get regular minutes in this young Wizards team. Todd was part of the 2021 NBA Draft class, one of the best in recent memory. So he will get his time to develop with this young Wizards squad.
The Wizards pulled off one of the best pieces of business in recent memory. Their work in the last year allowed them to get rid of two heavy contracts in exchange for role players and potential future stars. While John Wall and Russell Westbrook will continue to garner the attention, the Wizards made sure that they have plenty of assets to use for themselves or in the open market.