Does the Wizards recent trade for Bogdanovic make them Contenders?

Less than 24 hours before the trade deadline, the Washington Wizards traded Andrew Nicholson, Marcus Thornton and a lottery-projected 2017 first-round pick to the Brooklyn Nets for Bojan Bogdanovic and Chris McCullough.

What Does This Trade Mean?

Thornton hasn’t played since January 3rd and Nicholson has been a nonfactor when he does play.  Bogdanovic, on the other hand, is having a career year.  He is averaging a career-high 14.2 ppg during his third year in the league.  McCollough did not get much playing time with the Nets.  The Wizards are ranked second to last in ppg bench scoring.  They average 23.4 ppg, which is only is worst than every other team except the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Bogdanovic is sure to bring more scoring to the bench.  This will help Washington when the starters need rest.  Bojan provides an instant spark off the bench the Wizards so desperately need.  With Ian Mahinmi getting healthy, Kelly Oubre, Jr., Trey Burke and Jason Smith, the Wizards bench doesn’t  seem so bad on paper.

With Scott Brooks having experience with good rotations in Oklahoma City (Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, and James Harden), he will need to do the same in Washington.  Brooks needs to decide how to give Bogdanovic enough time to be effective.  He also has to strategize how to fit Bojan in with the starters.  This could be huge at the end of games. Rotations play a role in deciding the difference between a win and a loss.

Wizards Contenders?

Although acquiring Bogdanovic was a great deal, the Wizards still have to worry about other East teams.  In addition to the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers, the Toronto Raptors made a huge signing in getting Serge Ibaka.  The Boston Celtics are in second place in the Eastern Conference standings, despite Avery Bradley not playing since January 16 due to an Achilles injury.

Despite the bench woes, the Wizards starters can compete with anybody in the league.  Bogdanovic might be the X-factor in winning a playoff series or not.  If the other bench players can step up and play together. Only time will tell how far the Wizards can go.

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