I just tried to make a comment about this and the comment system crapped out on me, so I decided to make a fanpost instead. I have seen a few arguments going back and forth on the trade, thought I would add my $.02 as to how this trade significantly hurts the chances of the Wiz ever making a real run at a title in the Wall era starting from the roster we currently have.
My answer goes something like this: 31 of the last 33 NBA title winners have had at least 1 super-star (think in-their-prime Bird/Jordan/Kobe/Duncan) and at least 1 or 2 additional All-Stars who would be the best player on most/many NBA teams. This is not a theory, its an iron-clad fact. The only real outliers were the 2011 Mavs and 2004 Pistons, and given that the 04 Pistons had 5 All-star or near-All-Star caliber players in their primes, they were a truly unique team that would be hard to replicate.
I am not saying the Wizards were on the path to obtaining this mythical 2 or 3-star Roster, but that all NBA roster construction with an eye on winning the trophy should be done from a standpoint of maximizing your chances to have that occur. To use everyone's favorite example of OKC, they maximized their chances, and then capitalized on them (actually hitting on your chances is somewhat blind luck) with Harden/Durant/Westbrook. It wasn't some magic plan or hocus pocus, they just realized that the only way to REALLY compete is to get players like that and did what they could to try and increase their odds of it happening (by embracing years of painful growing/sucking). Our trade in my opinion SIGNIFICANTLY decreases the hope of that happening.
Details after the jump.
Think back to title winners from 1980 onwards.
1989-98 - Isiah's Pistons (w/ Dumars/VJ/Laimbeer) then the Jordan Era (2 Hakeem + Glide wins w/ Jordan playing baseball)
99-2010 - Shaqobe Lakers, Duncan (manu + parker) Spurs, then the Gasol/Artest Lakers. One Boston "Big 3" win
2011 + 2004 = Outlier teams mentioned above
So looking at that list, it really rips the hope from my mind. The best-case scenario for this Wiz roster entails Wall ascending to one of the 2 star spots (and given that the only PGs in my list were Parker and Magic, the chances are small he becomes the superstar, despite my best wishes) AND someone not currently on the roster becoming the other star as the remainder of the Wiz current roster has no hope of making any all-star games (this new roster member probably has to be the 1A super-star player as well unless year 3 see major improvement for Wall).
This is where the trade kills me. The options for the Wiz getting that superstar were:
- 2012 3rd Pick - Beal/Barnes/MKG all look solid, NOT superstars. Might be a good 3rd wheel. Hopefully my eyes and pundits are wrong.
- 2013-14 picks - 2 more lottery chances...with recent improvement the Wiz will probably end up in the middle of the lottery/mid 1st round. Those picks are where you add the McGee/Young/Crawford/Seraphim's...not the star we need
- 2012-2013 - using cap flexibility to make a lopsided salary trade. Now we have to amnesty Blatche just to avoid Luxury taxes
- 2013-14 FA Market (nobody was coming this year, and the crop was weak). Next year has a decent crop and we were set to be able to afford them.
We have essentially eliminated options 2 through 4, in order to suck slightly less for 2 years. We won't be bad enough for lots of ping pong balls. We have no salary cap space to trade for like a player like Gay or any number of other players teams will be violently trying to unload for tax reasons in the next 2 years. On the same note, the cap space is gone so no max Free Agent like Howard (I know, pipe dreaming....) in 2013. The 2014 FA class, which we just positioned ourselves to have tons of cap space in, is still very much up in the air but looks weak unless the Heat-3 terminate early, which is unlikely. We didn't even get another lottery pick in this draft to help (i could care less about the 34th pick or whatever it was they gave up).
This is why the move was bad: typical Grunfeld move to improve the short-term middling/awfulness of his team (so he can say "HEY LOOK TED WE IMPROVED BY 15 WINS!!!! DON'T FIRE ME!!") while mortgaging any real chance of contention down the road by significantly decreasing the chances to hit on an additional superstar.
TL;DR: its a bad day for Wiz fans in my opinion. To quote the oft-unpleasant Hollinger: How is this guy still running a basketball team?!