Michael Lee has a post on Wizards insider indicating the Wizards will probably be quiet as the NBA Trade Deadline approaches. It's an approach I've advocated here before, and none of the rumors I've heard involving the Wizards' players (Josh Howard to Boston, Kirk Hinrich to Atlanta) have changed my mind. But there is something new in there that is a bit concerning to me.
According to Lee, the Wizards
have moved Andray Blatche off the market.
And, if any players get moved, it will unlikely be members of the young core -- John Wall, Nick Young, JaVale McGee, Andray Blatche, Trevor Booker and Kevin Seraphin. While two Western Conference executives said in late December that the Wizards were open to moving Blatche, the Wizards have informed others in recent weeks that they intend to keep him.
I don't like the way that sounds.
UPDATE: Lee clarifies, says he's not "off" the market. For what it's worth.
Now, I'm not saying the Wizards need to unload Blatche, but I'm not sure I like the idea of taking him off the market, which is how that sounds. Blatche has played better in February, shooting 52 percent from the field and passing more. But it's an eight-game sample, and it's come with the same lack of focus at key moments.
The matter of his long-term salary remains an issue, as well as his fit with JaVale McGee. We've seen 55 games of these two together this season and many more last year, and I don't like what we've seen so far. McGee is still on his rookie contract, so the Wizards can't possibly get good value back unless they shift into "acquire a star" mode. I don't think this is an area where the Wizards can say they are completely comfortable the two can figure it out. By taking Blatche off the market, that's exactly the message they are sending.
Again, I'm not saying trade Blatche immediately, but the Wizards have to continue doing their due diligence to see what is out there. If Blatche gets distracted by it, then he's not worth what they gave him anyway.