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When it comes to Michael Beasley, it's not about winning the trade, it's about a larger vision

[Note by Mike Prada, 05/01/10 7:33 PM EDT ]: Ziller says it better than I could.

I'm fully aware that the chances of Michael Beasley coming to DC are tiny. We're talking about a "league source" saying there are "some" in the Wizards' front office that are "open" to trading for him, which is about as insignificant as it gets. It's like saying that, according to a "reader of sports blogs," there are "some" members of Bullets Forever who are "open" to drafting DeMarcus Cousins. In both cases - yeah, it's worth reporting it, but it doesn't really mean much.

But let's pretend for a second that there's legitimate interest in Michael Beasley. To me, trading for Michael Beasley is exactly the same disease that's plagued this front office recently. Defenders of Ernie Grunfeld correctly point out that he's made a lot of good individual trades. "He got Caron Butler for Kwame Brown!" "He got Antawn Jamison for a draft pick we weren't going to use anyway!" "He got two good vets for a pick we weren't going to use!" That's all well and good, but being a successful GM is about much more than making a bunch of moves that look good by themselves. It's much more about having a long-term vision that makes sense and making successful moves that can be judged within that context.

Take the Milwaukee Bucks, for instance. Last summer, the Bucks jettisoned three of their best players for basically nothing. They dumped Richard Jefferson for some non-guaranteed contracts, didn't even bother to extend a qualifying offer to Charlie Villanueva and let Ramon Sessions go instead of paying him a very reasonable contract for his talents. Judged on their own, letting those three guys go for nothing made no sense. But judged within the context of a general philosophy, and they were outstanding moves. None of those players fit with the kind of culture the Bucks were trying to build for Scott Skiles, so it made no sense to keep them. They replaced them with cheaper guys who fit better, and ended up winning 12 more games. The sequence of moves made sense, even when they maybe didn't individually.

If the Wizards were to trade for Michael Beasley, the argument in favor if it is "well, look, we got a talented 21-year old forward who is still very young for nothing!" And that's true. But judged within the prism of the kind of team we want to build, it makes less and less sense to bring Beasley in. At 21, Beasley can still blossom, but what's the cost? He will need a lot of tutelage from our player development team, and that will take those guys away from Andray Blatche, JaVale McGee and our other young players who already have a head start on Beasley. Beasley will need to be watched for his off-court activities, and we already have enough resources watching the guys we already have. He'll always be a bit slower picking things up because of his space-cadet'y demeanor, and we already have enough guys like that. Then, there's the matter of where he plays. Small forward? He's never succeeded at that position in his career, and the only way that changes is if we work with him extensively on it, which of course takes resources that should go to other players. Power forward? We're trying to establish Blatche there.

The short answer to the long-winded point is therefore this: Beasley could still blossom, but for it to happen, the team that employs him will have to work very, very hard and will need to be patient to coax it out. The Wizards already are taking the slow, patient route with many of their players. We don't need another player that'll also need to develop slowly, even if he can be acquired for basically nothing.