The last few weeks have been very exciting for Wizards fans. After a long season which we would all rather forget, word of very attractive trade rumors has arisen.
The prospect of bringing in a player like a Jason Terry, Josh Howard, Amare Stoudemire, or Ray Allen is definitely something that will give Wizards fans hope going into next season. However, one rumor has popped up which I hope and pray will not evolve into a serious possibility.
I am referring to the rumors surrounding Manu Ginobili and the Wizards interest in him.
If the Wizards were to bring in Ginobili, it is true that they would be getting a champion, an extremely talented scorer, and a definite team player.
When I first read about this rumor on an absolutely terrific Wizards blog, Bulletsforever.com, I remembered that he pulled off a very impressive feat of averaging around 20 PPG in only 30 minutes coming off the bench during the 07'-08' campaign and so initially I was blinded by the numbers.
Then I began to realize what was even more attractive about this potential situation was that the Wizards would only need to give up a prospect, an expiring contract, and the fifth pick in what is being considered by many a two player draft.
However, after the initial thrill wore off, I began to realize that this trade would be a complete disaster.
This past season, Manu Ginobili spent 53 games in a suit and was eventually shut down due to a stress fracture in his right ankle.
At first Ginobili was able to ignore the pain and play on but slowly the ankle began to get worse and eventually hampered him greatly in the Western Conference Finals where his team would fall to the Lakers four games to one.
Claiming the ankle was better, Ginobili opted to play for the Argentinian National Team in the Olympics late last summer. However, this would prove to be a mistake on Ginobili's part because he would go on to re-injure his ankle.
Ginobili was forced to have a surgery that cost him the first month of the regular season. He appeared to have put his injury problems behind him until February.
Only two months after returning from his left ankle surgery, Ginobili's right shin began to cause a nuisance. This new problem forced Ginobili to sit out for over a month. Just two weeks after his second comeback of the season, team doctor's deemed that Ginobili's right ankle was not well enough to continue playing and he would need to be shut down for the rest of the season.
If Manu Ginobili was a young man these problems could be chalked up to one season's bad luck and a full recovery without any recurring effects could be expected.
However, Ginobili is aging, he will be 32 years old next month and age in the NBA is directly proportional to the deterioration of a players body.
Ginobili is past his prime, his best days are behind him and the downward slope of his career is being sped up dearly by his ankle injuries. I fear that the Wizards would bring in a Ginobili who's simply a hollow shell of how he was before the injuries.
Manu is a gamble the Wizards do not need to take.
In fact, I am surprised that the same organization whose $111 million man, Gilbert Arenas, has missed 140 games in the past two seasons is willing to take a risk with another injury prone player.
This Wizards team needs durability not fragility, we need players who can play 70+ games a year.
Every season us Wizards fans have to watch the Wizards suffer through countless injuries. It has become a migraine having to always keep the next return date in mind.
The Wizards have a valuable package of 2010 expiring contracts (Mike James, Etan Thomas) and young talent (Nick Young, Andray Blatche, Dominic McGuire, Javaris Crittenton) to surround the #5 pick in a package deal for a veteran star that will take the Wizards to the next level.
Frankly, it would be a shame to waste these valuable assets we've assembled by trading them for an injured old man.