Are we copying Boston's model for building a team, and not OKC's?
Before I get into what Ernie said, my initial thoughts on the trade are:
1. Bad trade.
2. The cap flexibility is worth much more than Okafor / Ariza. Maybe it was not possible, but I would have much preferred a trade where we got the 10th pick.
3. I do like having vets to help the young guys grow. It puts them on notice that minutes will be earned. People (outside of DC / this community) are underestimating how bad a culture we have in DC. This brings in a solid core of vets (Nene / Okafor / Ariza) to teach the young guys what it takes to be successful in the NBA
4. If whoever we pick at 3 does not turn into an all-star this trade becomes horrendous. If Beal or Barnes looks like a legit all-star (eventually) and they are in the running for rookie of the year, then you have a team with 2 stars, 3 solid vets, and a bunch of young guys with upside. If Beal / Barnes look like average NBA players, you have an average NBA team with no salary cap flexibility. You are stuck in the worst possible place in the NBA, not a contender and not bad enough to get top picks.
Regardless, we will be better next year and more fun to watch. So we have that going for us.....
But then I listened to something Ernie said which I do not think has been discussed here (after the jump)
Ernie mentioned the potential value of Okafor's and Ariza' expiring contracts over the next two years. First let’s look at the potential free agents over the next two years:
2014 Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony, Dirk Nowitzki, Amar’e Stoudemire, Chris Bosh, Pau Gasol, Paul Pierce, Danny Granger, Luol Deng, Rudy Gay, Zach Randolph and Andrew Bogut among others.
Ernie's point was that we could use Ariza's and Okafor's expiring (or next year with one year left on it) contracts to make a trade. IF (giant if) some of our young players begin to develop and look to have real potential. We can put together a package of young players, draft picks, and expiring contracts to trade for (and re-sign) a big time free agent. While whoever traded with us would be trading for pennies on the dollar, it would be better than getting nothing. If a team believes they have no chance of resigning their star, the Wizards could be uniquely positioned to put together an attractive offer.
Granted, this makes two major assumptions. 1) Another team values our young players. 2) Ernie can pull this off. This is beginning to look like mimicking Boston’s team building model, not OKC. Acquiring as many young assets as you can, find the ones you want to keep, trade the others for proven stars.
Still down on the trade, but I can begin to see the upside. Let’s pray that Bradley Beal = Ray Allen