First things first, I do not pretend to have all of the answers for my beloved Bullets franchise...nor do I pretend to be as knowledgeable as many others on this site. I am unclear on some of the finer points with regard to salary cap penalties and trade restrictions, so judge me accordingly. Just do me one favor, be civil with one another in the comments section.
It strikes me that the crux of the heated disagreement over our recent trade of the ghost of Rashard Lewis and our mid second round pick for Emeka "Big Defensive Fundamentals" Okafor and Trevor "The Shutdown Jacker" Ariza comes down to the salary cap situation. Broadly (and with no desire to be fully fair to either side), it comes down to "great...now we've eaten up all of our Rudy Gay money and are forever doomed to being meh in a world where only hurrah means anything" VS. "wait, what? ditching Rashard Lewis and being able to rebound and defend is somehow a bad thing?"
For more snappy repartee, a chance to express your limited free will through an undoubtedly skewed poll, and an answer to the timeless question "What the hell is your point?"...see me after the jump!
I think the main underlying factor in leading both camps to their ultimate take on this trade has rarely been mentioned...the willingness or lack thereof of Ted Leonsis to eat a few dozen million dollars for nothing.
According to my mathematical approximations (which previously have foretold of the apocalypse's unquestionable occurrence on March 45th, on the eleventy fourth year of the 17th century...book it!), it would have cost around $36.7 million to both buy out Rashard and amnesty the dude that takes bullets to the chest and solicits undercover cops for prostitution with little to no penalties. $36.7 million...for two empty roster spots...that's a spicy meat-a-ball!
Granted, Ted reportedly is worth somewhere around $1 billion, so it's a little difficult for me to view this decision from his perspective. If we adjust the scale down to someone who has a net worth of...oh, I don't know...just over $20,000, then it would be like paying $750 to euthanize your two cats that constantly poop and vomit in your mouth as you sleep. You also have to factor in the other $300-$400 you will need to spend to get new cats, since you can't possibly stand to live in a world that isn't filled with bitchy, self-centered animals that leave allergens everywhere they go. I'm glad I could make this perfectly clear for all of you now.
It seems fairly obvious to me that Ted wasn't willing to cough up the dough to make both of these headaches go away and create a beautiful salary cap haven where dolphins mate with unicorns, creating magical narwhals that can shoot 60% from 3 point range and dunk from the bench like pixelated Tom Chambers. Whatever we may think about what would be the ideal move for the franchise, it is a lot easier to say we should just pay the money when it isn't coming out of our bank accounts (or mattresses and gold reserves for those slightly less optimistic about the economic forecast).
Ergo, I think those most ardently opposed to this trade are perhaps viewing the now vanquished alternatives in a hypothetical universe that doesn't really exist since our owner won't even spring for hiring a big man coach. On the other hand, those that are over the moon about it lack imagination and probably eat mayonnaise sandwiches with a side of bran paste for lunch. Have I offended everyone yet? No? Tom Gugliotta was overrated. Discuss.