The Washington Wizards were expected to have a quiet trade deadline this year due to the young roster, yet a day before the shutdown date, general manager Ernie Grunfeld made a trade that sent guard Kirk Hinrich and center Hilton Armstrong to the Atlanta Hawks.
In return, the Hawks would send guard Mike Bibby, forward Maurice Evans, rookie guard Jordan Crawford and a 2011 first round draft pick to the Washington Wizards.
The trade seems like a win-win scenario with the slight edge going to the Wizards for acquiring a young core scoring piece in Crawford, who could help out due to the lack of consistent scorers on the team. For the Hawks, their point guards have been dry the past two years and definitely need to start over at that position with the young talent they have in Jeff Teague.
With all this trade deadline hype, the Wizards still have many questions that need to be answered after this shocking trade went down.
One thing the Wizards spoke highly of when acquiring Kirk Hinrich from the Chicago Bulls in the offseason was his ability to mentor young players, as he did with Derrick Rose in his rookie season. Hinrich has shown many glimpses of leadership by being vocal on the court and playing defense that has inspired rookie John Wall to take notice of what he does.
Mike Bibby isn't really known as the guy you would tell your player, "I want you to play like Bibby!" because everything he does now, almost every average guard can do in the NBA. Although age is catching up to him, Bibby still has a jump shot, which is definitely something Wall could work on.
But is Bibby willing to offer advice to Wall, or will he be a sore loser on the team due to the fact he went from a playoff team to a lottery team?
Jordan Crawford definitely fits the Wizards' ideal prospect for this team.
He can shoot from unlimited range.
He is young.
He dunked on LeBron.
One of the reasons the Wizards' production on the court is so low is because of the lack of scoring options on the team. The only consistent scorers on the team right now are Nick Young and Andray Blatche, and they both have struggled for the Wizards lately. With Crawford, the Wizards can add a third option to the team, which I assume will come off the bench.
But did Ernie get Crawford for the possibility of maybe being a starter for the Wizards one day or just as a backup for Nick Young?
I'm the type of person who looks at the players first when it comes to the lack of production on the hardwood. In this case, players like Nick Young, who has the least record of misbehaving on the team, call out Flip Saunders after a loss to the Memphis Grizzles.
Young said, "We don't stay consistent with play-calling. It's crazy. It can't be us all the time. The same thing we run against the Thunder, we came out with a different plan. It can't be us every night."
This is the third year the Washington Wizards have had a terrible season, with two of them being under Flip Saunders. Let's be honest, he didn't really sign up for this type of coaching where the majority of the players are young prospects; he was signed up to coach a veteran team that could compete for a championship in the 2009-2010 season.
So should Flip Saunders be relieved of his duties? Or should Ernie Grunfeld just let the franchise play out?
Recently, John Wall made a pretty bold statement that is getting mixed reactions.
He said, "Until we find five guys that really want to fight, compete and don’t care, you know, the whole time, it’s really going to be tough for us to win. And the rest of the season can end like it’s been ending the last couple of games.”
Wall then added some details to the level of his frustration.
He said, “Pretty high. I haven’t lost this many games, and it ain’t just about the losing, I’m listening to my coaching and development, and they don’t want me to get in no losing mind set. But it’s just so frustrating to see that certain guys seem like they don’t have the effort to be out there, like they don’t care. That’s the toughest thing for me…no matter if I’m having a bad game or good game, I might show frustration in my face, but I’m going to compete. That’s one thing I’ve always did my whole life is compete, and that’s all we asking for from everybody.”
You can't really blame John Wall for being frustrated for not winning, as he has been spoiled with winning since he played in high school. So the question is, how long will it be until Wall goes off in the locker room? Maybe he doesn't go off at all, but the guy is obviously frustrated.
I totally understand Ernie Grunfeld's rebuilding process: building through the draft and developing young pieces for the future. It is a long, dreadful method, but it is proven to work.
Just ask the Seattle Supersonics/Oklahoma City Thunder.
With the rebuilding road the Washington Wizards have taken, it has run into several obstacles that now consist of having five small forwards on the team with Josh Howard, Rashard Lewis, Al Thornton, Cartier Martin and newly-acquired Maurice Evans. Many thought the Wizards would deal one of them again to the Boston Celtics, who were in desperate need of a backup small forward to share some of Paul Pierce's minutes.
It will be interesting to see what the Wizards can get out of the seven expiring contracts for their offseason.