Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Wizards Trade the #5 Pick for Mediocrity

I know I mentioned this trade as a possibility, but what the fuck?!? For those of you living in a cave, the Wiz traded the #5 overall pick and 3 garbage contracts for Mike Miller and Randy Foye, who both have 1 year remaining on their contract; in other words, the Wizards traded the #5 overall pick for 1 year of Mike Miller and Randy Foye (and some cap room in 2011). Why make a move so far before the draft? With Chad Ford now reporting that the dreamy one, Tyreke Evans, and Thabeet will all be gone by the #5 pick, our leverage was dropping by the minute, so Grunfeld may have been forced to pull the trigger before other teams lost interest.

Ernie might as well have pulled the trigger on the gun pointed at the Wiz fanbase. I can't link this post enough from Bullets Forever, it gives a great statistical analysis of the ideal backcourt mate for Agent-0 and finds Mike Miller as a great fit, as he is an almost ideal offensive compliment. Even so, a team whose 3 stars are all bad to horrible defenders decides to fill-in the role players around that core with more guys who can't play defense? Haven't we seen this movie before from the Phoenix Suns, except with a much better group of talent? Yes, the Wizards are a better team than they were yesterday, but not better enough to contend for anything more than the Eastern Conference finals if we catch a few breaks.

First and foremost, I think the Wizards should tear down and rebuild. Even though we have a lot of money tied-up in our 'big-3', I still like the idea of stockpiling young talent, either with the #5 pick, or trading for a young player already in the league who could develop. That said, given that Gil isn't going anywhere for awhile, we are almost forced to find someone who pairs well with him and try to make a run with our current group for 2 more years (until Jamison becomes Jamison's expiring contract).

The big problem is that we are far away from competing with the Cavs, Magic, and Celtics. Even if Arenas is back to his old self and everyone can stay healthy, we are still not as good as the top-3 in the East, let alone the the best in the West. In order to have any chance to compete, we needed to do something drastic; if we are not rebuilding, then swing for the fences with this trade. Mike Miller is a fine player, but does he really put us over the top? Foye is a nice backup to have, and gives us a backcourt with insane depth, but this team is still short on defense and too dependent on Agent-0 returning to form. That is why, I believe, a better course of action would have been to trade for, drum roll please.........T-Mac! That's right, he hogs the ball, his team improved after he was injured last year, and he looks like he is high all the time (nothing new to the Wiz after Rod Strickland), but he has everything to play for this year and gives us a legitimate all-star who can pickup Agent-0's slack. Maybe the team falls flat on its face with T-Mac, or even Jesus Shuttlesworth, but at least we have a higher ceiling than with Mike Miller and Randy Foye.

The Wiz are not done trading, as we have too many guards and too few big-men, so there will be another trade, possibly during the draft, and likely for a veteran big-man. Maybe Grunfeld will pull a rabbit out of his ass with some decent young guards and Mike James' contract as trade chips, but the upside on this team is just not high enough. For one mediocre season, we traded a potentially valuable young player who could be with this team for years.

How is that supposed to make me happy?

(Image via cbcsports.ca)


  1. This trade is not sexy, but it's a good thing. We're one depth big man - and a healthy roster - away from contending in the East.

  2. Looks like Bullets Forever said exactly the same thing as I. We took a baby step, and that isn't enough, we needed to make a bigger leap.

    In order to win the East, we need a healthy team, Gil to get back to form, Hedo to leave the Magic, and the Celtics to get old or rebuild...and then we only have to beat the Cavs, who have only gotten better since we last saw them in the playoffs, so we probably need me to Tonya Harding Lebron. If a contender is a team with a legit chance of winning a championship, then we are not a contender.

  3. Chad Ford also noted the Wiz told James Harden that he would have been our pick at #5, in case anyone was still curious.

  4. Yea.."contending" for the East is probably a misuse of the word. Maybe... "sniff" or "try not to be statistically eliminated from by game 60" may be better.

  5. The Celtics are already old and trying to rebuild (at least somewhat). Word is they offered Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo to the Pistons for Rip Hamilton, Tayshaun Prince, and Rodney Stuckey. Obviously the Pistons immediately rejected that offer.

    Contention in the East means at least getting to the second round of the playoffs. Aside from the Cavs, Magic, and Celtics, can you really say that any Eastern team is a lock to be better than us next year? I don't think you can.

  6. So the wizards are poised to compete with a handful of teams to be the 4th best team in the east. I'm guessing you limp into the playoffs, best case scenario.


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