I have heard a couple of recent reports regarding JaVale McGee and other Wizards on the trade block. I have heard that up until now the Wizards were not entertaining offers on McGee but with his restricted free agency upcoming and the trade deadline a week away (March 15th), they are starting to listen. Another report that I heard was that if the Wizards were to trade McGee, they want the other team to take on Andray Blatche as well. I am going to give you my thoughts on everything that I have heard so far involving Wizards trades:
- Wizards have begun fielding offers for JaVale McGee: I am glad they started doing this because he becomes a restricted free agent this summer and there is a decent chance that we could lose him for nothing. The Wizards could be put in a very awkward and tough situation this summer if say JaVale signs an offer sheet with another team for lets just say 4 years and 32 million dollars. That might be a bit low (I am never really sure how McGee’s head works), but now the Wizards will be put in a position where they either committ to McGee long-term (at least for 4 years and 32 million dollars worth) or don’t match the offer sheet and let him go for nothing. An offer like this is fairly likely to happen I’d say so if the Wiz aren’t willing to committ to McGee long-term (they haven’t yet, could be waiting till summer though) than you want to at least get a valuable asset or two in a trade for him. I am on the fence in terms of whether I would committ to a contract long-term for McGee this summer because while he has so much potential, most of the time he just doesn’t seem to get it and I am not sure he ever will, so it will be a risk either way. I have heard both sides of the McGee argument (locking him up long-term or not) and like I said I am kind of in the middle, so I would be willing to listen to offers for the man and I think if the right one came along (good draft pick, young valuable player, etc…) I would probably accept it so at least we could get something for him. I will be really angry with the Wizards if we don’t deal him now and then don’t match a reasonable offer sheet for McGee in the off-season because then we’d be losing him for nothing when we had no intent on keeping him.
- Wizards want teams to take Blatche if we give them McGee: This is somewhat comedic because I can’t imagine any team that would trade for Blatche and McGee, just two of the biggest clowns that I have seen. But there is a few reasons the Wiz want to get rid of Blatche. 1. He is not very good. 2. He is 25 but has been in the league for 7 years and his ways haven’t changed. 3. He has a bad attitude. 4. He has a bad contract. While I listed his contract at number 4, it is probably the 2nd most important factor in this equation behind him being bad. After this season the Wizards have Blatche locked up for 3 more years for about 21 million dollars. (In the NBA, everything is about contracts) It is not a terrible deal, but it is not a good one that we will want to be counting against our cap for the next 3 years either. (for context the NBA salary cap is at about 52 million per team) What the Wizards are hoping is that some team will look past Blatche’s bad attitude and contract and see the potential he could have if he played smart and up to his abilities. But really he is just a headache that teams aren’t going to want to deal with so putting him in the trade actually lessens the value of the deal and we won’t get back as much in return. As a fan I would rather just get the maximum back for McGee than amnesty Blatche in the off-season and his contract comes off the books anyways, but then the owner would still have to pay him so I can understand why money wise (at least for the owner) it would be smarter to trade Blatche.
- One trade rumor I heard: The Wizards being interested in trading for Andrew Bogut- Interesting though I am not sure how the Wizards would swing this one in terms of money with all the money Bogut is due this year (earns about 12 mill this year and Wiz need to come somewhat close to matching that) and the few Wizards players that make a lot. (they would have to throw in Blatche or something) But I would have to say I am not interested in acquiring Andrew Bogut. I am not 100% against getting Bogut but I would say I am in the 80% category if that makes sense. First off his play has dipped lately, he was very good untill he started getting hurt recently and he hasn’t been the same top 5 center that he was before he got hurt. Secondly as I said he has gotten hurt and is actually fairly injury prone in his career. Third is his contract, he gets paid 12 mill this year, 13 next, and 14 the year after before becoming a free agent the summer of 2014. I don’t really think that fits in with the Wizards time line and where we are as an organization. Unfortunately we are still in rebuilding mode and have 3 years untill Wall becomes a free agent to get better. This year obviously we are and will be terrible, next year I think we will be a bottom 5 team again, and the year after that I am hoping to be a fringe playoff team (depends on when we spend the boatload of money that should be off the cap once Blatche is amnestied and Lewis’ contract expires). Either way I think for most likely all of Bogut’s existing contract we will be in rebuilding mode and not contenders. So in that sense what is the point in paying the guy all that money if we aren’t going to contend anyways? So he can cause us to have a worse draft pick? So he could cause us to have less money that we could spend on other younger free agents. Then when Bogut’s contract expires in a couple of years he will be 30 years old. Do we really want to sign an injury riddled declining player to a decent deal when will be the expected time for us to become good? At 30 he still could have some good years left, but he could very well also not. I think in 3 years if we want to resign Wall we are going to need to build a solid nucleus of low to mid 20 year olds around him that he knows will be with him for the next 5 years rather than a 30-year-old with possibly a few good years left. We should have two more top 5/10 (at worst) picks on the roster at that point and will have plenty of money to spend on free agents that could fit this bill better than Bogut.
- Apparent report that everybody on Wizards on table but Wall: I don’t hate this idea. The only guy that I really want to keep other than Wall is Trevor Booker. He is developing into a very good player for the Wiz and I would hate to see him go in a bad deal. In terms of how I would rate how much I want to trade each Wizards player I would say (on a scale of 1-10, where 1 is don’t deal this man for anything and 10 is I would trade him for a rack of basketballs) Blatche 10, McGee 7, Turiaf 9, Mason 9, Evans 9, Singleton 5, Booker 3, Wall 2, Vesley 5, Young 10, Crawford 9, Seraphin 5. I think that pretty much covers everybody but I might be forgetting somebody, but that is my basic thoughts on the Wizards players.
I will continue to give you my opinions on Wizards trades/rumors as they come along. I think the main thing to remember is that we are in rebuilding mode still (unfortunately) so we need to continue to acquire young assets that will be hitting their prime (or aleast close to it) in a few years when, if we progress the way we should, we will be good again, as well as the same time Wall has to make his decision whether to re-up with the Wiz or not.