The 2022-23 NBA season has officially reached its halfway mark, so fans already have a general idea of what their teams are competing for. Organizations such as the Washington Wizards should be active in the market for players who can help them make a final push to the playoffs. With the Feb. 9 trade deadline around the corner, the window to make key moves is closing.

Washington is 22-26 and currently No. 10 in the Eastern Conference, the last spot in the Play-In Tournament zone. The team is on a four-game winning streak, defeating Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks on the road in the process.

On Monday, the Wizards traded away Rui Hachimura to the Los Angeles Lakers in exchange for Kendrick Nunn and three second-round picks. Although they completed this trade, it would not be a surprise if there are more on the way.

With hopes of returning to the postseason, the team might need to make some moves. With that being said, here is the Washington Wizards’ dream scenario for the 2023 NBA Trade Deadline.

*Watch NBA games LIVE with fuboTV (click for a free trial)*

Trade either Kyle Kuzma or Kristaps Porzingis for first-round picks and young players

While Hachimura was in many trade rumors, he was not the only one in Washington. Both Kyle Kuzma and Kristaps Porzingis are having career years and could be useful for some contenders.

Kuzma is averaging a career-best 22.2 points, 7.6 rebounds and 3.9 assists. He is shooting 46% from the field, 34% from the 3-point line and 70.2% from the charity stripe. For his performances, the forward is getting some buzz for his first All-Star appearance.

Porzingis is having one of his best seasons since he injured his ACL injury with the New York Knicks in 2018. He is putting up 22.1 points and 8.8 boards while also blocking 1.5 shots a night. The Latvian is hitting 46.8% of his field goals, 34.8% of his 3-pointers and 82.6% of his free throws.

Although both are important parts of the team’s rotation, their contracts could become an issue. Both have player options for 2023-24, which they could end up declining and testing the market. With Bradley Beal’s five-year, $251 million max contract in the books, it might be difficult to keep everyone.

Because of that, trading either Kuzma or Porzingis might be necessary. Instead of losing one of them in free agency, Washington could capitalize on their value when it is at is high. If so, the Wizards should get first-round picks and younger pieces to build on. That way, they can re-sign whoever they keep and build around their new younger core.

Live and breathe the NBA?

🚨 Get viral NBA graphics, memes, rumors and trending news delivered right to your inbox with the Clutch Newsletter.

Acquire a 3-point specialist

Even by trading one of Kuzma and Porzingis, the Wizards have a real shot at making the playoffs. At the very least via the Play-In Tournament. If that is the team’s goal for the season, Washington needs to address some areas.

The Wizards are scoring 112.7 points per game, placing them in the bottom 10 in the league in that category. Additionally, as a team, they are shooting 34.9% from beyond the arc, just No. 21 in the NBA.

Of the current roster, four players are hitting less than 35% from the 3-point line (minimum of one attempt per game). Kuzma is attempting 7.7 shots a night and Porzingis shoots 5.5 times. Also, Deni Avdija is attempting 2.9 shots from the 3-point line but making only 27.4%, the lowest on the team with at least an attempt per game.

With the NBA game moving further from the basket, efficient 3-point shooting is essential in the playoffs. Considering that, the Wizards should go after a 3-point specialist. Some cheap options are San Antonio’s Doug McDermott and Detroit’s Alec Burks, who both hit more than 40% of their 3-pointers.

Bring a young defender

To make it to the postseason, the Wizards should also address the other side of the game. They allow opponents to score 113.4 points per game, the No. 16 defense in the league. With the offense and defense separated by less than a point, Washington could significantly improve its record with a defensive-minded player.

An intriguing option is Matisse Thybulle. The Australian is averaging a career-low 12.1 minutes per contest but still recording 2.5 steals and a block per 36 minutes. With his role in the Philadelphia 76ers’ rotation significantly decreasing this season and since he is on an expiring deal, a trade for Thybulle might not require much.

The Wizards could offer Delon Wright and maybe some of the second-round picks for the Hachimura trade. Now with Nunn, Washington has a backup point guard to fill Wright’s shoes. Also, it could clear some minutes for rookie Johnny Davis to develop with the main roster.

By improving the 3-point shooting and defense, the Wizards could close games better and improve their chances of making it to the postseason. The team would also start building a new core for the future with Beal leading the way as the main veteran in the locker room.