It looks like the overhaul of the Wizards' roster is continuing today, according to Al Iannazonne and Adrian Wojnarowski, who are both reporting the Wizards and Nets have agreed to a trade involving Yi Jianlian and Quinton Ross.
Iannazonne reported rumors of the deal first:
The team is working on a deal with the Wizards that would send Yi and cash to Washington for a player who makes "significantly less" than what the Nets' power forward earns. Three sources confirmed this is in the process of getting done.
The player is Quinton Ross, who earns $1.14 million. Yi is set to earn $4.05 million. The roughly $3 million savings the Nets will create will give them around $30 million available to spend on free agents.
Wojnarowski is also reporting the same on Yahoo Sports:
Washington sent Quinton Ross to the Nets for Yi, who has been traded twice since the Milwaukee Bucks selected him with the sixth overall pick in the 2008 draft. The Nets also sent $3 million to the Wizards.
New Nets coach Avery Johnson didn't consider Yi a fit for his system, and the Nets were anxious to clear even more cap space to make a run at LeBron James(notes) and several major free agents.
Quick analysis after the jump.
Talent-wise, this trade is a win for the Wizards. Jianlian hasn't lived up to his draft billing, but at least he can get on the floor, something Ross struggled to do, before the addition of John Wall and Kirk Hinrich, not to mention the return of Gilbert Arenas. Jianlian doesn't give the team much help defensively, but he gives the Wizards some scoring touch at the power forward position that Trevor Booker might be lacking.
Does the bump in talent make up for the extra $3 million the Wizards will be paying next season? I'm not so sure. For the $3 million in extra salary the Wizards took on to acquire him, the Wizards could have likely picked up a late first/early second round pick that would have given the team a younger, potentially better player. Thankfully, Jianlian's contract doesn't extend past 2010-11, unless the Wizards pick up his qualifying offer at the end of the season, which would seem unlikely at this point.
It's not the worst trade in the world. The Wizards will be putting together a better product when the season starts because of this trade. Of course, you could say the same thing about the Kirk Hinrich trade, which is kind of the problem. Remember, it's not about winning the trade, it's about the larger vision. Does this trade bring the team closer to that vision? I don't think it does.
(Thanks to oatmealeater for getting the discussion going).