The Washington Wizards made an acquisition during the midseason break and promptly came out of the off-week to the awaiting arms of a hungry Philadelphia 76ers team. With an eye on their listless bench, Washington acquired swingman Bojan Bogdanovic and forward Chris McCullough from Brooklyn in exchange for forward Andrew Nicholson, guard Marcus Thornton and a 2017 first round draft pick on Feb. 22. Adding the 6-foot-8-inch Bogdanovic gives Washington added depth at the shooting guard and small forward position with a player averaging a career-high 14.2 points per game this season. The 27-year-old Bogdanovic emerged as a starter in his two-year career with the Nets after coming to the United States from Croatia in 2014 despite being drafted in 2011. McCullough’s name might get lost in the trade but the 6-foot-11-inch forward gives Washington an interesting prospect.
Brroklyn Nets swingman Bojan Bogdanovic and forward Chris McCullough. (AP Photos)
A first round draft pick in 2015 from Syracuse, the 22-year-old McCullough has shown flashes in the NBA of a well-balanced game, mixing athleticism, quickness and three-point shooting. Wizards coach Scott Brooks has a clean track record with developing talent and acquiring McCullough could turn out to be an even bigger move than expected.
Feb. 24: Wizards Fall to 76ers, 120-112
After a seven-day break, Washington returned to action on Feb. 24 in a road visit against a depleted 76ers team. Despite being without several players due to injuries and a flurry of their own trades, Philadelphia trotted out just nine players on their way to a 120-112 victory. Bradley Beal scored a game-high 40 points and John Wall added 29 points, 14 assists and eight rebounds but Washington simply couldn’t match Philadelphia’s home cooking. The loss snapped a five-game road winning streak for the Wizards who fell to 34-22. Washington gave up a chance to gain some ground in the East playoff picture as the Boston Celtics suffered a loss on the same night as well.
Bogdanovic’s debut against the 76ers didn’t impress with just two points scored, but Washington may not be finished adding to the roster as there could be other players in the free agent market next week once contract buyouts occurs. Washington could still be in the market for a reserve point guard who can generate points and run the offense when Wall takes his breaks. The Wizards still sit third in the Eastern Conference but with aspirations of a deep playoff run, Washington may still be a player or two shy. The Wizards return to action on Feb. 26 when they host the Utah Jazz.