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From Wizards Insider:

I'm hearing that all sides have agreed in principle to a deal that would send Juan Carlos Navarro's NBA rights from Washington to Memphis in exchange for a lottery protected first round pick. Paperwork with Navarro's Spanish team, Barcelona, needs to be finished and the NBA has to review the deal as well to make things official (I hear that is why the "deadline" was pushed back). As details come in, I'll update.

So basically, because Memphis will be lucky to make the playoffs this year, Ernie just traded Juan Carlos Navarro for nothing.

Really, Ernie, you couldn't get Memphis to bite on Etan Thomas?  Why would they want to hold onto Stromile Swift after signing Darko?  Did they really say no to that proposal?

I'm waiting for more details, because there could very easily be another component of this deal, but if that's it, then this is not the ending I wanted to hear. At least get it Top-10 protected instead of the lottery.

Update [2007-8-3 16:55:46 by Pradamaster]: Ivan mentions in the comments section that it could be top-3 protected instead of just lottery-protected. Let's hope so.

Update [2007-8-3 19:20:9 by Pradamaster]: Just to be clear, we wouldn't really get "nothing" from Memphis if the pick was lottery-protected, but it's still not very much.

Update [2007-8-4 13:10:7 by Pradamaster]: I've calmed down from yesterday, and I actually don't think this is that bad.

Navarro's decision to come to the NBA came at a really awkward time. I've long contended that signing DeShawn did nothing to JCN's value directly, but it seems that it did, from what teams were offering. But I still contend that Ernie did the right thing in locking up DeShawn at that point. Once you start negotiations with an unrestricted free agent (this is key. It's as if DeShawn didn't play here last year), it doesn't send a very good message to suddenly break them off. Obviously, if you didn't want to keep him, that doesn't matter, but Ernie clearly wanted to keep him, and despite many of us complaining about his lack of production at the end of the year, I think most of us would say that we'd like him back. It appears that teams realized we had no chance at signing Navarro, so they lowballed us and refused to take on Etan Thomas. I guess you could say then that signing DeShawn hurt JCN's market value, but that was a risk worth taking if we wanted to keep DeShawn.

This trade accomplished two positives. First, it sent JCN to the Western Conference, away from the Miamis of the world. Second, it gives us an additional asset that can be used to move Etan Thomas. I'm mildly disappointed that we weren't able to use Navarro to move him, but at least we haven't closed the door on it.

Finally, if you're just thinking pragmatically, turning a former second-rounder who will never play here into a first round pick that could potentially be in the lottery in 2009 is a neat trick.

As far as Haywood goes, I really don't think Ernie's going to move him, and I'm not sure I buy that Eddie Jordan is as good as gone. If I had to describe Haywood, it really wouldn't be as a malcontent, even though he walked out on the team after Game 4. I really think his beef is with Eddie rather than the rest of the team. Sure, an anonymous player has been quoted saying he's not happy with how Haywood handled himself, but the same happened with Andray Blatche, and he's not a cancer either. Teammates get upset with each other sometimes. No other clubhouse is exclusively harmonious.

In the new poll on the right, I selected the "depends on whether Ernie's done dealing" option, so that probably describes my feelings about this. I'm mildly disappointed JCN didn't fetch a bigger package, but of the ones out there, the first-rounder from Memphis was the best one. Ernie could very easily turn around and use that first rounder (or both that one and ours) to entice a team to take on Etan Thomas.

This was a missed opportunity, but at least Ernie created a situation where he can easily take a mulligan.