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Posted at 11:17 AM ET, 02/24/2011

Now do more, Wizards

By Kevin Broom

Yesterday’s deal sending Kirk Hinrich and Hilton Armstrong to Atlanta for Mike Bibby, Jordan Crawford, Maurice Evans and a 2011 first-round pick was a smart trade for the Wizards. Now is no time to rest however — GM Ernie Grunfeld should push to make additional trades before today’s 3 p.m. deadline.

Hinrich is a solid player and a mature presence on the roster, but to the rebuilding Wizards, he’s an aging two-year rental. This trade transmogrifies him into three different assets that could benefit the team down the road. The first is the chance to develop Crawford, an athletic guard with potential, but little opportunity to play for the guard-rich Hawks.

Second, the Wizards get the Hawks' first-round pick in the upcoming draft, which they can use to continue stockpiling young talent or which they can use in a future trade.

Third, the Wizards get Bibby, who can either provide the team veteran backcourt depth through next season, or be dealt to a team looking for steady backcourt play.

The deal is salary cap neutral for the Wizards, assuming they keep Bibby, Crawford and the pick. Under league rules now in effect (which are likely to change in the new collective bargaining agreement being negotiated), the Wizards, as it stands now, could have as much as $13 million in cap room this coming offseason. More realistically, they’re going to wait until the following offseason to attempt a big splash in free agency.

So, what should the Wizards do before today’s trade deadline?

  1. Find a new home for Andray Blatche. I know they gave him an extension before the season. I know he’s still young. I know he has skills. I know he posted a gaudy per game scoring average last season. But he needs to go in a classic addition-by-subtraction deal. Burn up the phone lines to get an expiring contract and a pick. If no one will give up a pick, then take the expiring and move on. The Wizards will be better off without him.
  2. At this stage in his career, Bibby doesn’t want be a backup on an awful team that won’t contend for the playoffs for at least a couple more years. Move him to a playoff team that could use steady ball handling and good three-point shooting. Get back another pick, a bench warmer with potential and/or a short contract. If there’s no trade market, then negotiate a buyout and let him make his own deal.
  3. On very bad teams there’s always someone who posts good scoring numbers. This is because Somebody has to score. Sometimes the player turns out to be pretty good, but often he’s just the guy who gets the shots. For the Wizards this season, that Somebody is Nick Young, who also just happens to be in a contract year. I enjoy watching Young score, but haven’t been able to shake the reality that he does little else. Now’s the time to sell on Young. At least a couple playoff teams could use Young’s offense off the bench. Find one that will cough up a pick or two (a first and a second would be ideal) and an expiring contract and make the deal. Dealing Young isn’t as crucial as the Blatche deal, so if the Wizards can’t get something worthwhile, he’s worth keeping until the offseason. But the Wizards should try to convert him into a future asset. 

Finally, if there’s a deal to be made that will bring back draft picks or expiring contracts, don’t pass on it to hang onto “the core.” John Wall is the only franchise building block currently on the roster. McGee could become a building block if he decides to work on his body and his game.  But he should be available as well for the right deal.

The team isn’t going to contend with this group of players. The Wizards should not hesitate to make deals that give them the flexibility to acquire the players that actually have a chance of leading them into championship contention in the future.

By Kevin Broom  | February 24, 2011; 11:17 AM ET
Categories:  Kevin Broom, Wizards  | Tags:  Kevin Broom, Wizards  
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Comments

i have no idea why they are hanging on to blatche. probably because nobody else wants him

Posted by: slick3 | February 24, 2011 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Agreed 100% regarding Blatche. They should get a true power forward who has the ability to hit the face-up jumper, but doesn't rely on it so much. The same goes for Yi...

I also agree on your take on Nick Young. He scores well, but doesn't seem to do much else when he's having an "off" night. I can see him going to a playoff team in need of a scoring threat amongst their second unit.

That brings us to Bibby. I don't think a playoff-ready team will take a 32-year old spot up shooter who can't play a lick of defense. Besides, why would a playoff-ready team want to mess with its chemistry now -- that is, unless they're looking for a serious upgrade over what they currently have? The buyout idea might be the only way he moves on...

Posted by: arizona4 | February 24, 2011 12:03 PM | Report abuse

BLATCHE HAS GOTS TA GO. PERIOD. KEEP YI. QUALITY BENCH PLAYA IF HE CAN STAY HEALTHY.

SEND BIBBY VIA THE FIRST THING SMOKIN OUTTA HERE.

Posted by: noodlez | February 24, 2011 12:31 PM | Report abuse

we want AB; we're having a 3 man pick-up game ovre at tech, common Andre and you can rest after 5 mins

Posted by: aypub | February 24, 2011 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Trading Blatche & Nick Young would be the right moves, great moves. And that's WHY it won't be done.

"On very bad teams there’s always someone who posts good scoring numbers. This is because Somebody has to score." EXACTLY !!

Posted by: ubetonit | February 24, 2011 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Despite using the word, "transmogrifies," in the article [wft!] this is one of the very finest articles I've read on the Wizards.

However, I highly doubt anyone gives up a first and second for Nick Young. There's only one GM dumb enough to do that and he works for the Wizards.

Posted by: nativedc | February 24, 2011 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Yes trade Blatche for a box of popcorn because he leads the team in rebounding, second in scoring, plays defense better than any other big on the team and we can get Karl Malone in his prime if we trade him. Oh, you mean we can't but we can get a draft pick that will ride the bench for some time so that we he does play we can critcize him for not being as good as Blatche is. Ideally we will trade him to Detroit for that guard, Rick Hamilton, we gave them a number of years ago during Jordan's time of being a dummy. We always have such good success with such trades with Detroit. Right?

Posted by: h20law2000 | February 24, 2011 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Blatche has been here long enough. We have seen the movie. It's time for a change.

Andray had a chance the past 2 years to really step up and show that he is a guy who can be counted on and instead he has remained an inconsistent presence on a team that otherwise lacks rebounding and interior defense.

Posted by: RoyHobbs4 | February 24, 2011 2:25 PM | Report abuse

I'm for trading Bibby and Blatche outta here. But I don't think we can get anything good (as in draft picks) for both of them. I don't wanna trade just to make a trade...so I wouldn't wanna pick up anymore players for them. Any players we would get for them wouldn't be in our future plan anyways, because it would not be a young player the we can groom ourselves. Nick Young I can see us getting more value for, since he is still young and in his original rookie contract, so he's easier to move. I would only trade him if we can get a 1st rd pick for him, and then some. A lot of people on here keep saying he's one dimensional, but I think he's improved a lot on his defense...I've seen him take a charging call, or at least attempt to. So IMO we're better off keeping him, since he fits the type of player John Wall can play with.

Posted by: javila1 | February 24, 2011 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Good article, I agree with most of it. Can't beleive I'm saying this but I disagree on Blatche. I wouldn't trade him before the deadline unless someone gives me an unbelievable deal. I think that down the road somewhere (offseason or next year's deadline) he could still be a valuable piece for a big trade. Ny must go. His value will never be higher than it is right now. He gives us streaky scoring and nothing else. There is only one other player on the team with a lower basketball IQ than him (McGee). Bibby can go or stay. he is the only other real pg on the team I think and he can show JW the ropes but JW still has Sam Cassell to lean on.
This team can collect all the young, potential in the world but ultimately it's gonna have to blossom into players or be used as bait for trades for known commodities.

Posted by: MaxnDC | February 24, 2011 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Agreed. Wall is the ONLY player worth keeping presently. Although his post all-star game efforts and attitude remain in question (albeit two games).

The only other player "maybe" worth keeping is Howard. He's a proven 6th man. The rest of the team are role players or bench players (deep on the bench)on most any other team in the league. There is so little talent here, that ANY trade would benefit the Bu-zards (as long as Wall is not involved).

The only problem? Other than the Hawks, it appears everyone else knows we have no talent. Hinrich was a nice player in Chicago. He was a STIFF here - maybe he'll blossom again in Atlanta. Flip doesn't develop talent - and he appears to have given up this year along with everyone but trevor Booker - maybe because he KNOWS his talent is limited, and thus - tries hard. These past two games have been horrendous - worst effort in years.

Bring in some new players - anyone...please (dump/move/buyout Bibby and Evans - same old same OLD).

Never thought i'd say this, but at least we have the Nats to look forward to.

Posted by: t_ewers | February 24, 2011 3:12 PM | Report abuse

arizona4, It's TREVOR BOOKER!!! The Wizards got a true power forward (young and agressive too). Did you see Trevor Booker's dunk last night off Wall's miss. Elton Brand was standing right there when he dunked it.

Posted by: clifton3 | February 24, 2011 3:25 PM | Report abuse

33 years and counting.

Posted by: rdondero123 | February 24, 2011 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Lol yea fools are crazy. Why would you trade players that just now becoming for time stArters lol it's the coach not the players the wizards all ways giving up good players that turn out to be gems like the wallaces like rich-h come on give the team time to jel as a team. Just think if the hawks gave up on thier young players it took them a few years to gel nick wall ab jm tbooker are good players that needs time and. Coach that can teach and get the players to listern. This was a good trade should have let rlewis go for a draft pick. I love the team we have no good bench players that can score. If ur backup can't give u everynite noless then 35 ur not gonna win but we have nicks 18 wall 13 jm 12 ab 17 come on that's good number for four players now that's 60 points were the others points coming from y'all fools and reporters want to rip apart a good team to get what then when them four player go and shine the wizards are stupied get rid of the coach. We need a hard nose coach what had flip won come on he got a good team in the pistons n minny he never got out the first round until he had a team of vets come on he dose not kno how to Coach young players real talk if u can't get them to buy into ur system it's only two thing the coach or sorry ass players An we dnt have all sorry players. He downs his players n the media flip needs to go point blank get rid of nick ab magee lol y'all crazy you get the right coachs this team can roll

Posted by: SMOKEONLYGREEN | February 24, 2011 5:42 PM | Report abuse

The wizzards have all of these players who do somethings great, but are lacking in other areas. They have great athletes who for the most part do not play defense and rarely play as a team. It takes a team to play good defense and score against good defenses. I say replace the coaches who should be coaching these guys up.

Posted by: golfwise | February 24, 2011 7:27 PM | Report abuse

Trade Blatche, McGee, Young for what? Why don't you throw in the Verizon Center. We need to stand pat with the younger guys to see who develops and meanwhile pick up another lottery pick or two. We'd have two top picks now if the former owner had turned over control earlier. By the way, I think maybe Jordon Crawford has been underestimated since he was a 3 star recruit for Indiana - he's got those sleepy eyes, but he may be a sleeper.

Posted by: newbridge | February 24, 2011 10:50 PM | Report abuse

newbridge -- I would have traded Blatche for an expiring. The Wizards will never win anything of consequence with him playing a significant role. Unless, of course, he fundamentally changes the way he plays the game. I don't see that happening.

I would have traded Young for a 1st round pick or a 1st or 2nd year player with promise. He's not a bad player, but he's one-dimensional and his one dimension is something that usually gets paid pretty well. The Wiz are likely to end up overpaying to keep him at the end of the year.

I'd prefer to keep McGee and hope that he starts to "get it." But, I would have happily included him in a deal that would have brought in another building block.

All moot at this point. At least until the summer.

Posted by: KevinBroom | February 25, 2011 8:50 AM | Report abuse

Great article, Kevin. You could not be any more correct.

Posted by: shanks1 | February 25, 2011 10:18 AM | Report abuse

agree on all points, though would be sad to see NY go.

Posted by: doogiex | February 25, 2011 10:37 AM | Report abuse

All this about trading young and I do mean young players. What we need is a YOUNG coach to coach them. Sam Cassell should be the next head coach. Remember when he coached the summer league, those boys where off the charts, had a better record with Flip coaching. Give us some young new blood and watch them work. On Nick Young, pack a bag lunch and send him and his bad haircuts down the road.

Posted by: thyrin45 | February 25, 2011 10:56 AM | Report abuse

I'm not opposed to hiring a young coach -- when they hired Flip, I wanted them to hire Dave Joerger. But I don't get why a young coach is preferable with young players.

There are LOTS of examples of older coaches doing a great job with younger players. It happens all the time.

The notion that Cassell should be the head coach because of summer league is laughable. Summer league means almost nothing. No coach was going to get much more from this roster.

Posted by: KevinBroom | February 25, 2011 11:11 AM | Report abuse

If the Wizards can't find a way to win with Blatche then they ought to give up. Blatche shows up and plays fierce.

Immature? Yes. That's what happens with young players -- they are yet to mature.

But too many posters think every front court player should have Karl Malone's disposition and every back court player should be a Duke graduate. That's not how you win championships. Blatche is the most effective front court player on the team and he's young. Trading for some easy-to-handle has-been or never-was will cement the Wizards as the Clippers of the East.

Posted by: mkeyunex | February 25, 2011 12:13 PM | Report abuse

nice article. if we can get anything at all for Blatche, take it. His meter has expired. Addition by subtraction.

Trade McGee too. Take anything. I thought it was possible that he might come around, but more and more it seems he's a complete idiot. Don't need his type around. He's shown little improvement this year for as much as he's played.

I'd have to get something decent for Young. It's not reasonable to expect him to be a star. He's a contributor, and you need those. He's not one-dimensional. he does play ok defense.

Trade the GM too. He's done well in the past; the big three could-have/would-have without the knee injury and craziness. But his track record lately has been bad. McGee, Blatche, Young, Booker, Seraphin. None seem like impressive moves/picks now. Not terrible but not good. The best of the bunch, Booker, looks at best like an ok bench guy.

Posted by: stevie2 | February 25, 2011 12:40 PM | Report abuse

No on trading Nick Young. the problem with the Wiz is they have so little talent folks have to play beyond their scope. Nick young would be great if all was asked was 15-19pts a night. We need to keep that type player. As we know 30-pt a night players are few and far between. consistent, 20 pt players are almost as rare. we have to learn how to use and foster Nick young.

As for Blatche, we might want to consider a buyout for him. the guy is a poison. How many times do you have to interview the team and coaches and they are essentially saying blatche does not come to play, quits, or as recently said has no heart. it's all Blatche. McGee should get some too. but Blatche just plays lazy to me. it's the mid way point and the guy seems out of shape. he has not gotten adequately stronger after 5 years in the league. he's a weak big man.

Posted by: oknow1 | February 25, 2011 1:13 PM | Report abuse

mkeyunex wrote, "If the Wizards can't find a way to win with Blatche then they ought to give up. Blatche shows up and plays fierce."

* * * * *

Umm, what? Blatche plays fierce? Andray Blatche? If that's seriously what you think, then maybe we're watching games in some kind of parallel universe. "Fierce" is not a word that has ever come to mind when I watch Blatche play. Words that do come to mind -- skilled, talented, but also soft, weak, inconsistent, inefficient, lazy, careless, immature. When I hear/read his comments to reporters, the word "delusional" sometimes comes to mind as well.

oknow1 -- Good point about Young being a valuable 15-19 minute player. I think he'd be a nice 2nd unit scorer with a beefy and defensive-minded group around him. Get some thug screen setters and rebounders, and run a ton of single-double (the Reggie Miller play) for Young.

Problem is that Young is likely to want starter money, and he'll probably get that kind of offer from someone. Most of NBA player salary is determined by points per game. In fact, virtually all of salary is explained by per game points, rebounds and assists. What's left is largely explained by blocks.

Posted by: KevinBroom | February 25, 2011 1:49 PM | Report abuse

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