It's just like No Your Links, just with one article

The Sports Guy came out with his annual trade value column. For those of you who have never read Bill Simmons' articles (or if you boycotted them) he's simply ranking their value in a trade, not necessarily whether or not one player is better than another so don't panic when you see that David West ahead of Shawn Marion. If you're unfamiliar with how the trade value rankings work, just check out the sidebar near the top to see how it works.

Now as for the actual subject matter, here's what Simmons had to say regarding the Wizards, starting with Caron Butler:

31. Josh Howard
30. Caron Butler
For this season and the next three, would you rather have Butler at $37.5 million or Howard at $42.7 million? I'm going with Tough Juice. Regardless, I'd rather have both guys at these prices than Deng at $70 million.

(Random question: If you had to rank the greatest nicknames in the NBA right now, does anything beat "Tough Juice," with the possible exception of "Black Mamba?" I couldn't love that nickname more -- it's not possible. Also, we need to start calling Vince Carter "Weak Juice." Like, right now.)

Caron finds himself in an interesting stretch in the rankings that's full of wings from 34 down to 27. He's ranked higher than Joe Johnsosn, Shawn Marion, Luol Deng, Josh Howard and just behind Tracy McGrady (and David West, but he's not a wing). All in all, I'd say that's pretty fair. You could argue Caron is more appealing than McGrady because he's younger, has a better contract, and is a little better shooter than T-Mac but I can hear the other side as well.

Just three spots higher than Caron is Gilbert Arenas, who Simmons likes...in Detroit?!?

27. Gilbert Arenas
26. Chauncey Billups
Here's where you have to love the "Trade Value" game: Who turns down a Billups-Arenas swap, Wizards GM Ernie Grunfeld or Pistons GM Joe Dumars?

The answer? Both would turn it down even though it's a fairly logical trade for both teams. Detroit increases its ceiling as a team (right now, it's second round and out) and gets a blue-chip scorer and gate attraction to keep up with LeBron in the Central; Washington gets an unselfish winner who makes everyone else better and gives it stability for once. That's a nice trade. In the end, Joe Dumars would flinch well before Ernie Grunfeld did -- he'd worry about Gilbert's impending free agency, he'd worry about going over the luxury tax and wrecking his salary structure this summer, and he'd definitely worry about Gilbert's knee problems and the curious way the Wizards came together as a team as soon as Gilbert went away. Ernie would flinch only because of the age difference (four years) and the local ramifications of dealing the most popular Wizard/Bullet in 30 years. Either way, a fun argument.

There's so many ways I could go with why that trade wouldn't work for either team, but I think I'll just stick with him suggesting that Detroit needs a gate attraction.

A couple of other Wizard-related notes from the column:

  • Caron Butler has the 13th best contract.
  • Before you get upset that Etan Thomas has the 15th worst contract, just remember we don't have Jared Jeffries (11th) and Larry Hughes (2nd).
 

I guess all of this talk about trade value leads to the inevitable discussion about the value of Arenas & Butler (not that the Wizards would trade either of them) but how do you feel about the rankings?  Too high?  Too low?  Would you trade Arenas for Billups?  Would you trade Butler for any of the wings in the group that I talked about?  Most importantly, will anyone vote for BF in the Sports Blog of the Year Tournament?

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