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Wiz roundup: January 10

Lots and lots going on today in preparation for the Bulls game tonight.  More to come on that one, but in the meantime, Wizardland is buzzing with news from all over the place.

Remember the three-team deal from yesterday?  Well, considering I first heard about the deal from the Basketball Jones podcast, I decided to respond to them in an e-mail they read on air today.  Here's what I said.

As a Wizards blogger, this trade makes me want to puke.  I agree with Skeets, I see absolutely no upside for the Wizards.  Tas' explanation that the Wizards want to deal one of their centers is overstated, to be honest.  The fight between Haywood and Thomas happened early in the year, and both have been model citizens since that incident.  Before Thomas went down, the two were a pretty solid duo in the middle, and since Thomas got hurt, Haywood's been a revelation inside.  It's no coincidence that the Wizards' December run happened with Haywood starting.  Eddie Jordan has a dumb personal vendetta against Haywood, but I've seen no indication that Ernie Grunfeld feels the same way.

The expiring contract logic also makes no sense to me, because why do the Wizards need to sacrifice this season just to clear 8 million in cap space?  They have their Big 3, so they have no reason to go after a major free agent, and with all three guys under contract until the end of next season (when Jamison's 16 million comes off the books), it's not like they're trying to save money to re-sign their own players.

Tas, who's probably one of the most knowledgable NBA minds I've ever heard, responded to the expiring contract claim that the Wizards have no need to keep both Brendan Haywood and Etan Thomas for three more years when they need to upgrade the team around the Big 3.  Understandable, but I still don't see the Wizards upgrading the center position with the 8 million dollars they save.  A center by committee approach can work well -- remember the Bulls trio of Luc Longley, Will Perdue, and Bill Wennington back in the day? -- and considering the market for big men these days, the Wizards are going to have to pay a premium if they want even a comporable center to Haywood, which they will desperately need because of Thomas' poor durability.  Considering Haywood's production is close to that level, and he's making only 5-6 million a year, it seems silly to trade him.  The Wizards would be better off letting Jarvis Hayes go, re-signing DeShawn Stevenson with his money, drafting a young point guard, and using the mid-level exception on a defensive wing to replace Hayes.  Combined with a healthy return for Darius Songaila and continued improvements for Andray Blatche, and the Wizards have a deep enough team to be a championship contender next season.  Haywood's too important to just trade for cap relief.  

For more on the trade, check out Brian McCormick's latest blog entry.

And, Washington would give up Haywood and Hayes? I've seen Washington in person as well, and remarked about likin both these players, though, to be honest, they underperform often. However, there is no way receiving Magloire for Haywood and Hayes is a fair deal. If the Wizards want a stiff in the middle, maybe the Kings could offer Brad Miller. If the Kings want to get defensive, Haywood is a big body who should be able to protect the paint and Hayes is a bigger wing who could be paired with Artest in the front court when the Kings go small.

Haywood and Hayes for Brad Miller...interesting, to say the least.  I wonder what the guys at Sactown Royalty would say to that?    

On an unrelated note, a couple Wizards made radio appearances today on Sports Talk 980.  Antonio Daniels talked on the Brian Mitchell Show at noon, and Gilbert Arenas is talking on the John Thompson Show soon.  If anyone heard either of these appearances, let me know what you thought.  I heard parts of the Daniels one, and he said some interesting things.

In terms of the team on the court, Eddie Jordan had this to say about the return of Etan Thomas.  

"You know how he plays: that force, that tenacity and the power.  He was really protecting the rim. At all costs. Shot blocking. Taking charges. Rebounding. We missed that."

The return of Thomas is definitely going to help the team, and I'm glad that Jordan is starting Haywood instead of Thomas.  Thomas' game is better suited to coming off the bench, and considering the makeup of this team, his energy is a huge asset.

Tom Knott at the Times has an outdated column on Gilbert Arenas' long-distance shots, but this graph was interesting nonetheless.  

Arenas practices these statistically improbable shots, of course. But it is more than that. He has uncommon strength for someone who is a half-inch shorter than his listed height of 6-foot-4. That strength, especially in his lower body, facilitates the distance on his shots. It also is this strength that allows him to create space for his shot whenever he ventures into traffic around the basket.

    He often is able to absorb the blow and complete the play. This is what Dwyane Wade does as well, only Wade lacks the perimeter shooting ability of Arenas.

Ahh...good ol' Tom Knott and his one line sentence fragments.

And finally, Arenas updated his blog the other day, and while this is usually Howie's domain, I figured I'd slip this in.  He talked about his party on Friday night.

It surprised me. I mean, it was more than I expected. I actually didn't know what to expect. I just wanted to make sure everybody got there safe. Everybody got there safe. Everybody had a wonderful time and everybody got home safe. That was my job so I didn't really get to enjoy it like I really wanted to.

Actually I didn't get to see all the stuff at the party. I seen the ice sculpture, but most of the other stuff I didn't get to see it because it was so hectic in there. They said they took pictures of it before everybody got in there, so I want to see those.

Bulls preview is coming later, so stay tuned.

Remember to vote in the newest poll about this rumored three-way swap.  Would you trade Brendan Haywood and Jarvis Hayes for Jamaal Magloire and his 8 million dollar expiring contract?