Washington Wizards Get: C-Emeka Okafor, SF-Trevor Ariza New Orleans Hornets Get: F-Rashard Lewis, 2nd-round pick (46th overall)
Why this makes sense for Washington:
The Wizards pretty much give up next to nothing for a pair of veterans who can step in right away and contribute on a young team. This process of adding experience began prior to the trade deadline with the acquisition of Nene and continues with this deal. The biggest concern from Washington's perspective is having to pay Okafor more than $28 million the next two seasons while the team is already giving Nene $13 million per year. That's a ton of money to cough up on two guys who play the same position unless the Wizards are confident the duo can be affective on the floor at the same time. Even paying Ariza nearly $15 million for the next two seasons is a tough pill for me to swallow.
What is interesting is how this deal will factor into Washington's draft decision. With Ariza and Chris Singleton at small forward, the trade suggests that the team will pass on Kentucky's Michael Kidd-Gilchrist since it would create quite the logjam at the three. I would expect the Wizards to now be targeting Florida shooting guard Bradley Beal since Jordan Crawford is their only two under contract for next season.
Why this makes sense for New Orleans:
The team continues the re-building effort that began last offseason when it traded Chris Paul and also saves the franchise more than $22 million in cap space for next season. Reports say Lewis and his outrageous $23.8 million salary will be waived before July 1 which will save the Hornets about $10 in cap space this season. In other words, this was purely a salary dump for New Orleans, which will look to build for the future with a core of Anthony Davis, whoever it takes with the 10th pick, and hopefully Eric Gordon assuming he re-signs a long-term extension.
Speaking of that 10th pick; I had been assuming that the Hornets were targeting either point guard Damian Lillard or Kendall Marshall, but by trading Okafor, there is now a hole in the middle alongside Davis. Therefore, you can expect the team to switch its attention to adding some size at No. 10 with Tyler Zeller, Meyers Leonard, Jared Sullinger and Arnett Moultire all possibilities.
It's a little strange how there are so many mocks with varying opinions of Derek Barnett where some have him as a top 10 pick, others falling outside, others have him sliding to the 20's and yet he was graded almost the same as Myles Garrett and everyone has Garrett going Top 3. I personally have Barnett as the best EDGE in the draft, and can see the case being made for either of them being Top 3 selections in my opinion. I can see Cleveland trading out of the spot again. Just strange how the opinions of Barnett vary with no solid reason as to why except "he may not produce at an NFL level the way he did in college" which is a weak argument cause I mean... isn't that true with every prospect? Has Jadeveon Clowney produced like he has in college? Nothing is a sure thing...