The Washington Wizards are heading into the 2013-14 season with playoff expectations after signing John Wall to a long contract extension and with the team finally thinking it can make it as one of the bottom teams in the East, the front office could be poised to make a deal after Emeka Okafor went down with an injury.
According to ESPN.com, Okafor could be out for a significant period of time after dealing with a herniated disc and the team also is dealing with an injury to Chris Singleton, who has a broken left foot and could be out for two months. Okafor was expected to be a top player for the Wizards this season in the front court and he now will be a significant loss as the team tries to fortify its defense and rebounding.
Wall obviously is an immense talent at point guard, but if the team has no size in the middle, it could be a repeat of last year when the Wizards won just 29 games. The team was solid down low ranking ninth in rebounds per game and eighth in point allowed per game, but without more support and scoring on their end, it could be another long season. The Wizards need to replace Okafor and there are a few ways they can try, one obviously being to sign a low-tier free agent, but the team also could try to make a trade for someone like Omer Asik from the Houston Rockets.
The Wizards have themselves a nice option to use in a trade, as Trevor Ariza has been rumored in deals this summer due to his expiring contract after next season that is worth nearly $8 million. While the Rockets likely won't part with Asik for just Ariza, which could be a starting point for the Wizards, who are trying got get serious about making the playoffs and this would be a solid way to do it.
The Rockets love Asik, but he already reportedly asked for a trade after the team signed Dwight Howard and while the team likely doesn't want to part ways with him, they have no idea if he and Howard can co-exist yet. Asik was excellent last season while averaging a double-double and putting up some of his best defensive numbers while playing in all 82 games and come the trade deadline if he is still with the Rockers, he will be a target.
Even if the Wizards can't get Asik, the team should still make a call to the front office and Daryl Morey, as he has shown in the past that he is willing to listen. Morey pulled off the James Harden trade and also used Thomas Robinson to help set the team up to get Dwight Howard. Moray is a smart and pragmatic GM and he could use this situation to snag a player that he could use later down the line to improve his team.
The Kings also Jason Thompson as a player that is low on the depth chart and he could be someone the Wizards look at as well. The Rockets have depth with Howard, Asik and Marcus Camby as well as Terrence Jones and could afford to part ways with Asik. The team is expected to be one of the top contenders in the West this season after signing Howard and making a move could help the team in the long run.