3. One of the Following Four Teams Will Trade a Future Asset for a Present One: Washington, New Orleans, Detroit, Cleveland
In fact, let's make this one of the official predictions. Cleveland has the most assets on hand, in terms of young players and first-round picks, but it's saving cap space for LeBron James. (It also has, let's say, an "aggressive" owner prone to bouts of fist-on-table evangelism.) Joe Dumars needs a big year in Detroit, he's staring at some future cap flexibility, and there's almost zero chance (bonus prediction) Greg Monroe is getting an extension before the October 31 deadline — making him an interesting potential trade piece. But the Pistons owe a protected first-round pick to Charlotte, making it tricky (but not impossible) for them to deal a future pick. New Orleans has tried to jump some steps in the rebuild process, with a weird (but intriguing!) roster of interesting pieces. And Washington …
4. Washington Will Trade for a Big Man in the Next Month — If Emeka Okafor's Prognosis Is Bad
General manager Ernie Grunfeld is in the last year of his contract, and owner Ted Leonsis, not the shy sort, has made it clear he expects the Wiz to make the playoffs. Washington was over .500 last season when Bradley Beal and John Wall were both available, and lineups featuring combinations of its core six or seven guys generally did quite well. But Okafor was one of those core guys, and the gap between Okafor and his backups — Kevin Seraphin and Jan Vesely — is a freaking chasm. Al Harrington can soak up some minutes as a small-ball power forward, a role he played brilliantly for Denver two seasons ago, but he's aging and coming off major knee issues.
The Wiz need a big man, unless they get good news soon on Okafor. Alternatively, if Okafor is healthy, Washington could continue its history of flipping mega-expiring contracts (and the cap space they promise) into players on longer-term deals; that's how it got Okafor. Stay tuned either way on the Wiz.