Rumor: Wizards tried to trade with Bulls to get Deni Avdija at No. 4, then got him at No. 9 anyway
The Washington Wizards liked Deni Avdija so much they tried to make a trade with the Chicago Bulls to get him with the fourth pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, according to Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington.
Hughes reports “the cost was too high” to make that trade, as the Bulls really liked Patrick Williams, but the Wizards lucked out and wound up getting Avdija with the ninth pick anyway. There was serious concern the New York Knicks would take the Israeli forward with the No. 8 pick, only for the Knicks to take Obi Toppin instead.
Washington was thrilled Avdija dropped to them, and now the franchise is hoping the rookie can help get the franchise back on track alongside Bradley Beal and Russell Westbrook. The 19-year-old lefty has impressed teammates and coaches, and he played pretty well in three preseason games.
Avdija averaged 10.3 points, 6.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.7 steals in 29.4 minutes per game in the preseason. He shot an impressive 54.5% from the field and 45.5% on 3-pointers. While he went just 2-of-5 from the free-throw line, the stellar 3-point shooting was good to see. The shooting was one main area of concern for the youngster coming into the draft.
The Wizards went just 25-47 last season and didn’t qualify for the play-tournament at the Disney bubble in Florida. John Wall didn’t play at all in 2019-20 thanks to his Achilles injury, and now Westbrook is in his place after the recent blockbuster trade involving a swap of the two point guards.
Avdija is slated to start at one of the forward spots next to Beal and Westbrook. The Wizards should at least compete for a spot in the play-in tournament in the Eastern Conference, but they could potentially be even better than that if things go right