Grading the Trade: Bojan Bogdanovic and Chris McCullough to Washington
- Author: Tabitha Byrd Feb 24, 2017,
Feb 24, 2017, 0:44
Yes, the Wizards traded away their first-round pick in a good draft in order to both get Bogdanovic and dump the Nicholson contract, but getting McCullough is arguably better given that pick is set to wind up in the 20s anyway. Andrew Nicholson is headed to the third team of his career, having played just 28 games for Washington. McCullough is in the second year of his rookie deal, so the financial aspect of this addition benefits the Wizards immediately.
McCullough was taken 29th overall in the 2015 NBA Draft, but hasn't lived up to expectations. He played in just 16 games due to a torn ACL against Florida State at the Carrier Dome. McCullough can also play power forward and Washington doesn't have much behind Morris, so he could eventually work his way into some minutes down the line there. While the Nets were pursuing a hard rebuild, Washington is in the midst of a playoff run and a potential top-four seed in the Eastern Conference.
Specifically, the Wizards would like to find a guard, allowing them to upgrade their backup point guard spot behind all-star John Wall. Grunfeld wanted to capitalize on the team's recent success and made a move to solidify the team's bench by acquiring Bogdanovic.
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The 27-year-old sharpshooter played for Croatia in last year's Rio Summer Olympics, leading all scorers with 25.3 points a game and shooting 50.6 percent from the floor. They will likely be looking for at least a pick and a young player in return.
If the cap rises to the current projection of around $102 million for next season, that would allow the Wizards to match any contract offer for Porter in free agency and still remain under the luxury tax line, while retaining the rights to Bogdanovic as a restricted free agent will allow Washington to potentially bring him back, as well, if the price is right. He might thrive with more playing time in Brooklyn but has been a disappointment this season.
The Wizards need bench help and Bogdanovic will give the league's second-worst scoring bench a boost.
The Vertical first reported the trade. The Nets announced earlier Wednesday that McCullough had been assigned to their D-League affiliate. With the Nets record at 9-47, expect the Nets to continue to be sellers as the National Basketball Association trade deadline approaches.