Have you ever walked by someone and thought, “man, that person looks familiar”? It’s as if you’ve dreamt of them before and they manifested themselves in your reality.
There they are.
That person—that thing, that you’ve seen before. You swear it’s true. You’re not crazy.
That’s the feeling I get every time Ernie Grunfeld makes a trade.
There it goes. There’s that person—that thing I swear I’ve seen before.
On Monday, Grunfeld traded Jodie Meeks for … who really cares? That is beside the point.
Meeks … the guy who was supposed to replace Bojan Bogdanovic … who the Washington Wizards acquired from the Brooklyn Nets for a first-round pick and Andrew Nicholson (a guy they signed the summer prior who gave Grunfeld instant buyer’s remorse), only to let Bogdanovic walk in the following off-season due to salary cap constraints … was traded for a pick after Grunfeld had buyer’s remorse.
Meeks is that guy. He’s Andrew Nicholson. He’s Eric Maynor. He’s Jan Vesely. He’s Andray Blatche. He’s all of the players Grunfeld regretfully acquired, only to part ways with them after learning of their inability to contribute.
Grunfeld has shot himself in the foot—again. By now, his foot is mangled, probably unrecognizable from the self-inflicted damage it’s taken year after year.
And again, it was an avoidable mistake.
Prior to joining the Wizards, Meeks had played a combined 39 games in two seasons, shooting less than 38 percent in his limited appearances. His primary reason for being employed in the NBA was his scoring—and that became the main reason he was unplayable, on top of the injuries he suffered. He was inefficient, didn’t play defense, and when he fell out of Washington’s rotation, he became disgruntled and demanded a trade.
Justifying giving Meeks an NBA contract for the veteran’s minimum would be a difficult task, and defending the player option the Wizards gave him is practically impossible.
Washington should have looked elsewhere. There were younger, more promising players on the market—and in the draft, too. There were other veterans, like Tyreke Evans, who took short-term deals to prove themselves, eventually earning big paydays. The Meeks signing became remorseful before he was suspended for taking PEDs—it became a mistake as soon as he signed the two-year contract.
But the Wizards wanted Meeks—and they got him. They got someone to fill that miserable void—the player whom would need an asset attached to him, just to make him somewhat appealing on the trade market.
Washington saved some money on the tax, sure—but they did so because Grunfeld cleaned up the mess he made, again.
Meeks is gone, but don’t get too comfortable—there will surely be another.