Few viable replacements for Trevor Ariza after Luol Deng

Few viable replacements for Trevor Ariza after Luol Deng
June 24, 2014, 11:30 am
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If the Wizards were to lose Trevor Ariza in free agency, Luol Deng wouldn't be a bad replacement. Then again, they'd have to beat out a team such as the Dallas Mavericks for his services. 

Deng, who was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers and disappeared in that abyss of dysfunction, is an unrestricted free agent. The small forward is an elite defender, two-time All-Star and has career averages of 16 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.5 assists achieved mostly with the Chicago Bulls.

Deng was paid $14.3 million last season and won't command anything close to that, but he's still a valuable piece for a playoff team such as Dallas. 

Deng is just 29, but he has a lot of wear and tear on his body. He has missed 54 games because of injuries since 2011 and routinely has been among the league leaders in minutes played.

The Wizards believe they can retain Ariza, who earned $7.7 million last season, particularly after they became a playoff team and advanced to the second round of the playoffs for the first time in nine years for the franchise.

After Ariza and Deng, both who are rangy and stand 6-8, there aren't any quality two-way players who can defend the wing at a comparable level.

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