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Wizards Reportedly Sign Andrew Nicholson, Trade For Trey Burke

July 3, 2016
A day after signing Ian Manhinmi to a four-year contract, the Washington Wizards continued their efforts to fortify their depth July 3, reportedly agreeing to a four-year, $26 million deal with free-agent power forward Andrew Nicholson and closing in on a trade for point guard Trey Burke. 

The 6-foot-9 Nicholson, who turns 27 in December, was drafted 19th overall out of St. Bonaventure University by Orlando in 2012. Nicholson likely fits into the Wizards' front-court rotation behind Markieff Morris, the presumed starter at the four spot. Between Mahinmi and Nicholson, Washington remade its front-court depth duringthe past two days.

During four seasons with the Magic, Nicholson averaged 15.1 minutes, 6.9 points and 3.2 rebounds per game. Of note, Nicholson improved his efficiency last year, shooting career highs from the floor (53.6 percent) and 3-point land (36 percent).

Not long after news broke of the Wizards agreeing to sign Nicholson, it was reported Washington was dealing a 2021 second-round pick to Utah for Burke, the ninth overall pick in the 2013 draft. Burke, a former Michigan Wolverine who will turn 24 in November, figures to back up John Wall at the point and get plenty of run on Washington’s second unit.

Originally drafted by Minnesota, Burke was dealt to Utah on draft day. Burke averaged 28.2 minutes, 12.1 points and 4.2 assists during three seasons for the Jazz. Burke's role, however, declined last season with the emergence of Dante Exum and Utah decided to move on from Burke this summer.

Burke will make about $3.87 million next year on the fourth year of the entry level deal he signed in 2013, according to Spotrac. With the Wizards having just one pick during the last three drafts on the roster in Kelly Oubre, adding some young depth on an entry level deal may have been a priority for Washington.

Having lost out on Al Horford, Washington's plan appears to be to spread around its available cap space to strengthen its depth and re-shape its second unit. The Wizards’ lost a number of players to free agency -- including guards Alan Anderson, Garrett Temple and Ramon Sessions, along with forwards Nene and Jared Dudley -- so they had a lot of work to do to fill out the roster.

Enter Mahinmi and Nicholson, who should get plenty of run behind Gortat and Morris, and Burke, who will slide in behind Wall. It remains to be seen what the Wizards' next move is, though shooting guard Jamal Crawford is reportedly on their radar


UPDATE: The Wizards continued to use the outset of free agency to focus on depth and create a brand new second unit, reportedly agreeing to a three-year, $9 million deal with Czech guard Tomas Satoransky July 3. 

Satoransky, a veteran of the ACB League in Spain, was drafted by the Wizards in 2012. Four years later, he’s officially a Wizard.

Satoransky, who will turn 25 in October, is a 6-foot-7 combo guard. He most recently played with FC Barcelona Lassa, averaging nearly 28 and a half minutes in 29 games this past season. He scored nine points and dished out 4.3 assists per game and shot 36.6% from 3-point range.

Adrian Wojnarowski describes Satoransky as “a long, athletic point guard with terrific vision and the ability to play off the ball.” Satoransky’s role is to be determined, but he figures to spend time on the second unit with Burke behind Wall and Beal.  

With its remaining cap space, Washington figures to go after a wing. The Wizards could use someone who can shoot and help defend small forwards.