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Wizards deadline plans put the squeeze on Tyreke Evans market

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The Wizards want to keep their first rounder. That's bad news for the Grizzlies.

NBA: Washington Wizards at Memphis Grizzlies Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

It appears that the Washington Wizards will be without their All-Star point guard for an extended period of time. It was announced Tuesday that John Wall will miss at least six weeks to undergo a knee procedure.

You’d think that would mean the Wizards would be more willing to make a move to get another ball handler to run the offense in Wall’s absence. But according to David Aldridge, that isn’t the case. Per Aldridge, the Wizards are “determined to keep their 2018 first-round pick” this season.

The Wizards were an ideal trade destination for Tyreke Evans. Washington needs the playmaking and ball handling that Evans provide, particularly off the bench. Washington also has plenty of dead money that the Grizzlies could’ve taken on in return in exchange for a first round pick.

Washington’s decision to stay out of the rental market means that the Grizzlies’ market for Evans is smaller than originally hoped. There’s still a few other teams that make sense for Evans that might be willing to cough up a first rounder, but having one less bidder won’t help the Grizzlies.

Right now, Memphis can only hope that Washington’s decision doesn’t mean that Evans’ return is limited to a couple of second round picks.