The Washington Wizards continue to establish themselves as a force to be reckoned with after adding yet another important piece to the 2013-14 puzzle by agreeing on a sign and trade to acquire power forward DeJuan Blair. Even prior to signing Kris Humphries and Paul Pierce, the Wizards had been in talks to bring Blair aboard. In return, the Dallas Mavericks will receive the rights to Emir Preldzic, a 2009 second round pick. Preldzic (6’9’’, 220 lbs) has remained in his homeland of Turkey since being drafted with the 57th overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft.
Sources say, the Mavericks promised Blair a trade to help him financially after his outstanding performance in the seven-game, first round series against the eventual NBA Champion San Antonio Spurs. Blair, the 37th overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, has flourished despite lacking ideal size and has been recognized as a bruising forward that will provide the Wizards with a toughness the team sometimes lacked. In 2014, the former Pittsburgh Panther averaged 6.7 points and 4.7 rebounds per game.
In a press release announced Wednesday, Wizards President Earnie Grunfeld said, “DeJuan gives us a tough inside presence who can score and rebound at both frontcourt positions,” He continued by saying, “His addition makes our bench even deeper and will allow us to be flexible with our lineups.” Washington has yet to slow its rapid pace of acquiring players to increase the overall team depth in positioning the Wizards for a run into late March.