Charlotte Hornets: Washington Wizards players to target in free agency

Jan 25, 2022; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal (3) talks with referee Sean Wright (left) during the first half at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 25, 2022; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal (3) talks with referee Sean Wright (left) during the first half at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports /
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As a part of our series detailing which players the Charlotte Hornets should target in free agency, our attention shifts to the Washington Wizards. The Wizards finished with a 35-47 record, which earned them a 12th-place finish in the Eastern Conference.

At the trade deadline, the Wiz brought in Kristaps Porzingis, who could be their big of the future. The potential pairing of Porzingis and Bradley Beal could be a solid one-two punch for several years to come. In an up-and-coming Eastern Conference, the Wizards will have pieces to make a playoff run or two in the upcoming seasons.

As the lone player option heading into the 2022 offseason, Beal holds the cards for the Wizards’ front office. If he opts in, he is banking on himself to have a bounce-back season after one of the worst seasons of his career. If he opts out, he is likely going to re-sign for a long-term deal with the Wizards. If he opts out and leaves, Washington is left in dire straits, and Charlotte is salivating at the prospect of acquiring a former All-Star player.

Anthony Gill and Cassius Winston are the Wizards’ only restricted free agents, and they should not be heavily sought after players for the Hornets. While Gill played solid minutes for a depleted Washington squad, he would not crack the rotation on a fully-healthy Hornets roster.

On the unrestricted free agent side of things, Thomas Bryant, Tomas Satoransky, and Raul Neto are three names that Washington will have to deliberate on keeping or not. Satoransky is an aging combo guard who the Hornets should not look twice at.

Bryant and Neto, however, are potential targets for Charlotte. Bryant is a soon-to-be 25-year-old big that is likely not returning to the nation’s capital. If the price is right, he could become a backup big (with starting potential) for Charlotte.

For Neto, he could be an ideal backup point guard for the Hornets. Neto earned $2 million in 2021-22, and if the Hornets can snag him for that price range, he would be more than welcomed in Charlotte.

I do not foresee the Wizards’ three unrestricted free agents returning for next season. Two of the three would be a decent fit with the Hornets, but it all comes down to Beal. If Beal becomes a free agent, he becomes priority number one for the Wizards, Hornets, and 28 other teams in the NBA.

Next. Los Angeles Lakers players to target in free agency. dark