Welcome to Washington, where journeyman guards come to congregate.
Not only did yesterday's trade leave us with oodles and oodles of guards, but it left us with guards who know their way around the NBA. Washington will be the 4th team for both Mike Miller and Randy Foye (remember, he was traded twice on draft night). In addition, you've got Caron Butler, DeShawn Stevenson and Javaris Crittenton, who have each played for three teams, Gilbert Arenas who has played for two, Juan Dixon (who is currently still on the roster) has played for four teams (including two stints in Washington), and Mike James is currently on his ninth NBA squad. At least this team won't have any problems finding good places to eat when they hit the road.
That's about the only thing that I can think of about this trade that hasn't been covered in some way, shape or form by someone already. There's a lot of great reaction and analysis on everything else from yesterday's trade and after the jump you can get a sampling of some of what people had to say about yesterday's trade.
They entered the offseason with a roster that featured the All-Star trio of Arenas, Butler and Jamison; a solid supporting cast of veterans; and six players under the age of 23. The Wizards remained hopeful that they could develop those six players - forwards Andray Blatche, Dominic McGuire and Pecherov, center JaVale McGee and guards Nick Young and Javaris Crittenton - to provide quality depth to their veterans, but Washington wasn't thrilled about adding even more youth to the mix. The Wizards sought to unload the injury-prone Thomas and his hefty contract at last February's trade deadline but were unable to pull off a deal. Thomas, who missed all of the 2007-08 season following heart surgery, and then was limited to 26 games this past season because of a torn MCL, was slated to make $7.35 million next season. But his contract had a $1.2 million trade kicker, which had scared teams off. The paperwork that must be finalized involves Thomas signing an agreement he won't opt out of his current deal on July 1 to pursue free agency. Thomas is expected to sign the agreement Wednesday morning.
I'm not completely sold on getting Randy Foye and Mike Miller, but I'm willing to give Ernie the initial benefit of the doubt, because if there is one area where Grunfeld has succeeded in during his time in Washington it is making shrewd deals. He landed Antawn Jamison for the No. 5 pick in 2004 and got Caron Butler for Kwame Brown a year later. This is Grunfeld's third major trade for the organization, and it yielded a former rookie of the year and sixth man of the year in Miller and a combo guard who came on strong in the second half of last season in Foye. Miller had a down year last season, but has been a capable long range shooter for most of his career. Something else to take into consideration is that with Gilbert Arenas and Caron Butler both dealing with injuries the past few seasons, Foye and Miller can step in to provide relief/insurance, if necessary. I would feel better about the deal if the Wizards had secured one of the Timberwolves' late first round picks, particulary No. 18. But I heard from a source that Minnesota wasn't going to give up that selection in this deal. The trade was agreed upon about two hours after Grunfeld held his pre-draft press conference on Tuesday. I'm sure you don't care what he had to say now, right?
Washington? You just put off rebuilding. You just cashed in a year's worth of misery for, possibly, only a year's worth of Mike Miller and Randy Foye. You're deluding yourselves thinking that this is a championship (or, even with everyone healthy, a 50-win) core. I should hate this move. But, for some reason, I don't. Washington is in one of those hardly-rare positions where, though they badly (badly, badly, badly) need to rebuild, isn't going to blow things up. They're refusing reality. And if you're going to refuse reality, well, might as well have some fun with it. Might as well try to average 110 a game. Trade rumors dogged Washington's lottery selection from the beginning. And rightfully so. But don't let them tell you that this payoff isn't worth a lottery pick.
I’d like to sound like some ‘expert’ and grade this trade, but honestly can’t give it anything but an incomplete at this point. Something else must happen to balance the team. Celtics fans flipped out after they traded the 5th pick,Delonte West and Wally Szczerbiak for Ray Allen and a 2nd rounder two summers ago, but then Garnett fell into their laps and all was copacetic. No, the Wizards won’t be getting Garnett-caliber player, but the point is, don’t judge Grunfeld’s maneuvering by this single move, rather by his summer plan in totality.
Grunfeld may not be done, either, as draft-day deals shake out. But if nothing else, he has already rid the Wizards of burdensome contracts. He also created two open roster spots by bringing in two players and trading the equivalent of four. If you're a fan of this maddening team that hadn't been able to scale Mount LeBron three straight Mays and went through real pain the past year -- season-killing injuries to Arenas and Haywood that resulted in 19 wins, three coaches in seven months and a general malaise that hadn't been seen since Abe Pollin fired Michael Jordan and started over -- you wanted last night's deal to be the start of things, a prelude to another deal that could bring a capable big man to town.
As for what they are giving up, it is basically the draft pick. Pecherov never got any playing time, even with all the injuries on this team and Etan Thomas was a pretty big fraction of those aforementioned injuries. Songaila also struggled with injuries, but emerged as the team's best shooter and passing big man. He didn't rebound well or play a lot of defense, but the offense looked a lot better when he was on the floor. However, for some reason Wizards coaches couldn't resist playing him wildly out of position, in the pivot, and it is just as well that he won't be around to tempt Flip Saunders. In other words, the Wizards get a starting combo guard who has improved every year in the league in Randy Foye, they get to rent Mike Miller's 3-point shooting for a year and they get to move Thomas' contract off the books. And they do all that without giving up a single player on the roster that the team needed to keep. The draft pick was the only thing of value that was lost and in this weak draft, we don't know how valuable this was. It's too early to say if this trade is lopsided -- it probably is not -- but right now I like what it does for Washington. Foye gives the team a young guard who can play either back court position and add some speed and athleticism to the lineup. It's a nice move by GM Ernie Grunfeld.
The source told Katz that the Wizards expect this trade to become official Wednesday. Washington had made overtures regarding moving the No. 5 pick ever since the Wizards landed it on the draft lottery on May 19. Washington listened to offers from New York, Dallas, Phoenix and Portland but settled on a deal with Minnesota, looking for veteran perimeter help while getting rid of expiring contracts. Once the trade becomes official on Wednesday, the NBA draft board will show the Timberwolves on the clock with the fifth pick on Thursday night, not the Wizards. When trades are completed after the midday deadline on draft day, the draft board doesn't change, and teams must pick for their trade partner. The source told Katz that until the deal is officially done, Minnesota could still work a trade to get a third party involved.
ESPN should have let me break the news...haters!!!
Miller went from 12 field goal attempts per 36 minutes in his final Memphis season to just over eight in Minnesota. He lopped off a full quarter of his attempts ... to get Sebastian Telfair more looks? Sure, he became a bit of a Renaissance Man in the process, boosting his rebound and assist frequency to their highest career levels. Something tells me it was not worth it. If in order to be a better rebounder and passer Miller needs to abandon his jumper, Miller needs to stop trying to be a better rebounder and passer. That extra rebound and extra assist ain't worth the six or so points M.M. gives up. Minnesota traded for a Ray Allen but got an awful version of John Salmons. Washington needs the Ray Allen version. Leave the rebounding to Brendan Haywood and Antawn Jamison. Leave the passing to Gilbert Arenas. Just shoot, baby, and everything will be right in the House of Miller again.
It is clear from the trade that Kahn intends to rebuild his backcourt after offering his two most talented guards to Washington -- and by no coincidence, this happens to be a draft heavy with guards, and point guards in particular. For Washington, the trade is particularly intriguing. With the arrival of new coach Flip Saunders coinciding with the return from injury of point guard Gilbert Arenas and center Brendan Haywood, the Wizards are in win-now mode. This trade would deepen their backcourt with Miller becoming the likely starter at shooting guard alongside Arenas, and Foye serving as an excellent combo guard off the bench.
The Wizards also have a plentiful supply of youngsters who are supposedly up-and-coming - Nick Young, JaVale McGee, Andray Blatche, Dominic McGuire - and are in need of more veteran poise in the locker room rather than another developing rookie. Plus the deal with the Timberwolves gives them a veteran shooter in Miller and a young combo guard in Foye, who may benefit from a change of scenery. Foye has been dogged by comparisons to Portland star Brandon Roy ever since the two were swapped on draft night in 2006. Roy developed into an All-Star and one of the best young players in the game. Foye has been solid, but not spectacular, and missed most of his second season with a knee injury. He picked up some of the scoring load when Al Jefferson went down with a knee injury in February. Foye averaged 16.3 points and 4.3 assists, but the Wolves had difficulty deciding whether to play him at point guard or shooting guard, and fans never let him forget he’s been out-performed by Roy.
@WizardsExtreme I guess the trade was good. I really hate to see those guys go but as we all know this is a business. Hope it helps the team
The trade also means the end of Pech in D.C. May you get buckets, son, wherever you wind up. I'll remember him calling Antawn Jamison "My brozer! From anozer mozer!" being nicknamed The White Hole and I'll remember him saying "I get buckets son" and "keep it gangsta son," but I'll especially remember eating a Russian dinner with him, Harvey Grant, and then-Wiz PR guy Zack Bolno in Las Vegas. An excerpt, in which Pech was discussing going to Chipotle:
"It's always so many people," he said, "and when you stand in this line, people all the time, they ask you something: 'Are you a basketball player? Can I shake your hand?'"
"Get used to it, brother," Harvey said.
"What about shake hands?" Pech asked.
"Some of them smell bad, it's difficult to give him hand." "
You shake their hand, then you go in the restroom to wash your hand," Harvey explained.
I left Vegas that summer thinking Pech might work out well for the Wiz, and would definitely work out well for the Bog. I'll miss him.
For Washington, the pick held little value for them, as they need to cash in on what they have now in the Big 3. They needed shooters and backup guards, and Foye and Miller fill those needs to a T. Throw in the long term financial relief and you can see the value in this for Washington, even if it's the less flashy of the two options.
The Wizards trade Etan Thomas (good move), Oleksiy Pecherov (good move), Darius Songaila (ok move), and...the #5 Pick (DAGGER!) to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Mike Miller & Randy Foye. Bye Bye Stephen Curry...tears...No! Not Possible! Is Mike Miller the next step to a championship, or just the cheapest option available? I'll go with the latter. Actually Foye may be the better player. I fully expect the Wizards to make another deal for some kind of big man and get rid of one of the point guards. The Wiz PGs include Gilbert Arenas, Javaris Crittenton, Randy Foye, and Mike James. James and/or Javaris gotta go.
My initial reaction was this: once this trade goes through, the Wiz will have no Euros on their team, and will have seven guys on the practice court who were recently in Minnesota: Foye, Miller, Mike James, Flip Saunders, and three assistants. Because the Jim Bowden theory of Single-City Midwestern Imports has worked so well in this city in the past.
I like the trade from both standpoints. For Washington it’s a deal that allows them to compete now and gives them people who can surround their core 3. Foye is an uber upgrade over Antonio Daniels, ditto for Mike Miller over DeShawn Stevenson. For Minnesota, this kind of reminds me of the Blazers wheeling and dealing of a couple years back. It’s a great step in the rebuilding process if you ask me. This isn’t the greatest of drafts to have 4 first round picks in but they can either package them up or develop all of them because they have major needs in their backcourt and possibly adding to the Love/Jefferson big man combo.
The most likely deal in my opinion is trading Nick Young & Mike James away for a big man. Are there any teams with an excess of big men who need to get a decent backup young shooting guard? Wizards trade Nick Young & Mike James for Veteran PF, scoring not needed If teams dont' want to do that, throw in Andray Blatche and get a Veteran PF and a Center who can play 8 minutes per game. There are still no minutes for McGuire in this move. He may have to go too...
But are they now a contender? That will be decided as much on defense as on offense. Last season, the Wizards guarded two-point jumpers at a nearly average rate but could not defend three-point shots or inside shots, according to 82games. Only the Heat, Nets and Kings allowed teams to shoot better from deep, and no one even approached the Wizards level of incompetence in defending the interior. Teams hit 65.5 percent of their inside shots against the Wizards, by far the worst rate in the league. It didn’t help that the Wizards had the fifth-worst defensive rebounding rate in the league, according to Basketball Reference. Put-backs are often pretty easy shots. This trade can’t make the ‘Zards worse at guarding the three (right?), but it leaves them awfully dependent on Haywood and two inexperienced bigs (McGee and Blatche) to guard the paint. It makes you wonder if the Wiz have another deal planned for a big man, or if they will be competing for the mid-level type big men on the market. (Mikki Moore may be available for the right price, Wiz fans). Miller and Foye both have expiring contracts (worth about $13.5 million combined), so the Wiz still have trade chips to play with even though they just unloaded Thomas’s deal. (They also managed to unload Songalia’s contract, which contains a $4.8 million player option for 2011. Nice work by Ernie Grunfeld).
Washington, which missed the playoffs this year, is positioned for a quick rebound if Gilbert Arenas returns to health. Miller is a gifted 3-point shooter. Foye will provide backcourt depth.
Today the Wizards agreed to a deal that sends Mike Miller and Randy Foye from Minnesota to Washington for the No. 5 pick and the flotsam otherwise known as Etan Thomas, Darius Songaila and Oleksiy Pecherov. But by adding these two players, the Wizards certainly have made themselves a fearsome offensive team. If Arenas is healthy, they could very well lead the league in offensive efficiency, and if that happens, new coach Flip Saunders just needs to coax an average defensive effort from them to win a ton of games.