We're a week away from the February 24 trade deadline, and all seems quiet on the Wizards' front. The only rumors that are really out there with this team are the ones from December with Andray Blatche and a throwaway line about the Lakers wanting Kirk Hinrich. The former, I'm sure, is still there, and we shouldn't make anything out of the latter because a) the Lakers have been rumored to "want" Hinrich for the last several years now, and b) the Lakers rarely make significant midseason trades unless its a no-brainer (i.e. Pau Gasol).
In other words, at this point, it doesn't look like we'll have much to dissect next week. Now, obviously, that could change soon, since trade talk tends to pick up during All-Star Weekend, but as of right now, that's where we are at. That's fine by me. I'd like the team to stay quiet, if I'm being honest.
For what it's worth, it's probably going to be a quiet deadline regardless. Teams are sitting around waiting for Melodrama to end, and most are also worried about taking on long-term salary with a new CBA coming, especially with the owners still dead set on a hard cap. For perspective here, consider this: according to Ken Berger of CBS Sports, who is the go-to guy on labor issues, Carmelo Anthony would only be eligible for a four-year, $47 million deal under the owners' proposal. Given that, everyone's going to be nervous about taking on a deal signed under an old CBA that looks very different from the new one.
But from the Wizards' perspective, that's cool with me. The only trade I really want to see done, if possible, is one that moves either Blatche or Rashard Lewis for some value (i.e. an expiring contract or worthwhile players). But the chances of that happening don't appear to be likely now. Lewis probably makes too much money for any team to take him on, and we haven't heard anything about anyone wanting Blatche for a long time now. Frankly, the only pieces you'll probably get back for Blatche and Lewis are other long-term contracts.
Otherwise? I don't see a real point to doing something significant. Hinrich is expensive, but he's also helpful and has just one year left. Unless some team is silly enough to offer a first-round pick for him, I don't see how we get any value back. There's an argument to be made that selling high on Nick Young is wise, but that will only mean we'll get back worse pieces that we'll eventually have to pay anyway. As much as I'm down on overpaying Young, I want to keep him and I suspect it will not take very much to do so in this new CBA.
So what does that leave us? A trade of Al Thornton for spare parts. I mean, okay, sure. A trade of Yi for spare parts? I doubt anyone wants Yi. A trade of JaVale? Not now, not when he is still young, big and cheap. A trade of Josh Howard? He can veto a trade.
So I don't see much out there. And honestly, we need to ask ourselves what we want the Wizards to receive back in a trade for any of these players. Trimming salary shouldn't be a huge concern because the Wizards are projected to have a pretty low payroll already. Getting draft picks would be nice, but I'd rather see us buy them for $3 million on draft night (which is definitely an option that will be there - contenders don't want the guaranteed contracts coming into a new CBA) than ditch a player to get them. Acquiring better players is always nice, but it takes two to tango for that. Realistically, I don't see any way the Wizards can accomplish much by moving players next week.
Then again, I'm not a GM.