Mar 3, 2012; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Wizards forward Andray Blatche (7) is defended by Cleveland Cavaliers power forward Antawn Jamison (4) during the second half at the Verizon Center. The Wizards defeated the Cavaliers 101 - 98. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-US PRESSWIRE
Andray Blatche is the only player the Wizards are actively shopping, with Ernie Grunfeld apparently leaving no stone unturned. There are two teams that have been reliably connected with Blatche, although characterizing that connection as interest would be...disingenuous. So here's looking at a couple categories:
How About Your Headache For My Headache?
Tyrus Thomas was acquired from the Bulls for Flip Murray, Acie Law and a future protected first that is increasingly unprotected and valuable the worse the 'cats play. He played well enough to snare a 5 year/$40 million deal and promptly reverted to the uninspired play that led the Bulls to dump him in the first place. Bismack Biyombo has apparently earned his starting spot at Thomas' expense. Charlotte held the advantage before Thomas lost his starting gig, but freshly demoted and with a contract marginally worse, one assumes the Wizards could exert significant control over the terms of the deal. Personally, I say no to change for change's sake and walk away.
Just Imagine The View From The Inside!
Historical fact: The Warriors gave a 6 year/$63 million deal to Andris Biedrins. Think they won't give $10 million plus to JaVale? That said, I don't think Biedrins (and his albatross of a contract) is in play quite yet:
Washington: Though they feel their locker room could take on a potential headache, the Warriors don't like Andray Blatche. They are more likely to go after JaVale McGee this offseason than trade for him now.
If a team that just lost their center of the future on the wrong side of an RFA bidding war is willing to double down, you can probably bet they smell blood in the water. The Warriors have assets to offer where the Bobcats don't, but Golden State can stand pat and they probably will. Sounds to me like the Wiz explored a value for value trade, selling Dray as an asset and Biedrins' contract never came up. That, or the Warriors are calling Ernie's bluff. Still, I'd try to push Dray for Biedrins and see what kind of young players/picks can be leveraged. But in the end, Dray embracing his role as a big off the bench will improve his value and this is a deal that can wait until the offseason unless Golden State suffers a fit of insanity.
Around the league, though? Either the players are fresh signed such as Glen Davis in Orlando, or doing their jobs (some very well) a la Al Harrington in Denver. Now that said, Masai Ujiri made a hard play to dump Al Harrington's deal in the Carmelo Anthony trade with the Knicks, which leads us to our second favorite GM, Otis Smith. There's history there, so what are some of the possibilities?
Well, Glen Davis (no, thank you) is recently signed to a questionable contract to appease a trade-hungry superstar, if Howard leaves (by any route) the Magic will look to unload. Of course, there may be more to unload than simply Davis. Otis Smith and Joe Dumars apparently compete to see who can have the most bad contracts at one time. And yet even that imagined fire sale will wait until the offseason.
Room For One More?
But wait, here's a wrinkle from Alex Kennedy at Hoopsworld via Orlando Pinstriped Post's Evan Dunlap:
The Orlando Magic "will spend the next week and a half" before the March 15th NBA trade deadline trying to acquire players like Steve Nash or Monta Ellis, reports Alex Kennedy of HOOPSWORLD, rather than fielding trade offers for Dwight Howard. "The organization wants to bring in a second star to appease Howard," says Kennedy, "but that’s easier said than done given Orlando’s assets."
The Wizards have trade history with the Magic and the Warriors, and I won't get into why a trade with the Suns isn't going to happen. If Ernie steps in as the third man in a splashy trade, his preferred M.O., suddenly there's something to legitmately have an eye out for. Can the Wizards add enough value on both sides of the equation to make such a trade viable? Could a deadline deal with the Warriors, Magic and Wizards happen where neither Dwight Howard or JaVale McGee gets traded?
The cap limitations are tough. Ellis' contract is prohibitively large; it's difficult to tack other contracts on, especially with the Warriors and Wizards being largely free of toxic assets. It won't be easy, perhaps some universe where the Wiz take on Biedrin's contract in return for Blatche's is enough incentive for Golden State to part with either Ekpe Udoh or Klay Thompson. But for the Warriors to part with Monta Ellis, there will have to be serious value from the Magic and if Ryan Anderson isn't in play that's probably a non-starter. There are a TON of rosterbation options here and while this probably wouldn't be the trade fans are looking for, this is Ernie's M.O. to a T.