Rumor Season: The part of the NBA year where most teams are out of the postseason, and we're still a month away from the draft and two months away from free agency.
It's never officially rumor season until Sam Smith shoots out his ridiculous trade rumors column every May. It came yesterday, and it was a doozy.
Smith suggested that the Wizards will be a major player in the Zach Randolph sweepstakes, and that Antawn Jamison would be the likely cost.
Excuse me while I go poke my eyes out.
Ignoring all the off-court issues (that Smith wonderfully summed up later in the column), Randolph for Jamison is an awful deal. Even in one of his best seasons, Randolph is good for two things; scoring and rebounding. He's not a very good defender at all, unless it involves grabbing a rebound. He's a ball-stopper offensively, and sucks at passing out of a double team. The Wizards already aren't the greatest passing team; adding Randolph would make it even worse.
Worse yet, trading Jamison nibbles at the essence of the Wizards. I wish Antawn was a better defender, but the Wizards resurgence didn't come until Ernie traded for him. His ability to create mismatches for traditional power forwards makes this offense go. He's the team's best pick-and-roll player, and he can succeed without the ball in his hands, making him the perfect compliment to Arenas.
And we haven't even discussed the leadership angle. Jamison is clearly the clubhouse leader of this team. To steal a phrase from Jack McCallum, Jamison is the camp counselor. He's always been a very goofy guy, but he's also been around long enough that you can't just be goofy. While Arenas and everyone else plays pranks on each other, Jamison's the one drawing the line. Why would you trade such a good leader for a malcontent?
Smith knows that Randolph comes with baggage, so he says only a desperate team would want him. Then, he says the Wizards are that desperate team.
Huh? I guess it's news to me that the Wizards are desperate.
With Ernie in place, I have total confidence that this deal will not even come close to happening.
Via Ben Maller