Deni Avdija deserves better than the Washington Wizards
The Washington Wizards are likely the biggest disappointment of the season, even with the Detroit Pistons setting an all-time losing streak.
When the Wizards acquired NBA Champion Jordan Poole from the Golden State Warriors, the combination of Poole alongside Kyle Kuzma seemed like a recipe for moderate success. Washington has not only fallen below expectations, but they have ignored the development of their young talents in Deni Avdija and Bilal Coulibaly.
Avdija has averaged 12 points, 3.9 assists and 6 rebounds on 50/36/74 shooting splits in 27 minutes as a starter this season for the Wiz. The Israeli forward has already established himself as a high-end role player who can impact winning. Unfortunately, every decision Washington has made in his tenure has only hurt his development. The Wizards currently sit second in the Eastern Conference at 6-31, only three wins ahead of the Pistons.
Drafted ninth overall in the 2020 NBA draft, Avdija might seem like a missed opportunity for the Cavaliers who selected Okoro five spots earlier. If Okoro is included in the deal, it may seem like an acceptance that Cleveland made the wrong choice. Okoro, though, has shown incredible improvement this season as a three-point threat. Okoro would instantly be Washington's best defender and could grow into a cornerstone player as the Wizards fully enter a rebuild.
Trading for Avdija would not be simple, though, given his poison pill contract extension. While Avdija is only making $6.2 million this year, his extension would make the team receiving Avdija take a $12.2 million cap hit. Cleveland could still easily match this salary, but it requires a bit more creativity from the Cavs front office.
Taking a look at another player who deserves more than they are given, the Cavaliers can look west to a former rival for a trade.