The NBA trade deadline is Thursday at 3 p.m. and the Washington Wizards are in the market for a playmaker for their second unit, which point guard John Wall recently expressed the team needed. But Washington is finding the market too costly and a deal unlikely, according to a person with knowledge of the team’s thinking.
The Wizards are willing to move their first-round pick in the upcoming draft for the right piece, but are balking at asking prices. They aren’t interested in Phoenix Suns point guard Goran Dragic and have reached out to the Denver Nuggets about swingmen Wilson Chandler and Arron Afflalo but consider their demands too steep.
The Nuggets, who are expected to be the biggest players before Wednesday’s deadline, also employ point guard Jameer Nelson, who interests the Wizards as a creator for the second unit. Washington is unwilling to ship its first-round pick for Nelson, who has averaged 7.5 points and 4.5 assists for three teams this season. The Wizards have also reportedly contacted the Miami Heat about point guard Norris Cole but also found Miami’s demands too expensive.
Washington’s potential activity is inhibited by financial constraints. The Wizards are about $500,000 under the luxury-tax threshold and have no plans on exceeding the number. They also want to avoid adding salary beyond next season in order to maintain flexibility for the summer of 2016, when several impactful players are slated to hit free agency. As a result, they are more likely to sign a free agent or pursue a player bought out before the March 1 deadline for the minimum.
Among the possibilities is Ray Allen. The Wizards have stayed in contact with Allen’s camp as the sharpshooter contemplates whether to retire or sign with a team for the stretch run.
Allen, 39, averaged 9.6 points and shot 37.5 percent from behind the three-point line in 73 regular-season games for the Miami Heat last season. He improved his numbers to 9.3 points and 38.8 percent shooting from three in 20 postseason games.