Snap Reaction to the Mike Miller/Randy Foye Trade | Wizards Blog Truth About

Snap Reaction to the Mike Miller/Randy Foye Trade

Updated: June 23, 2009

With Washington sending Darius Songaila, Etan Thomas, Oleksiy Pecherov and the 5th overall pick to Minnesota in exchange for Mike Miller and Randy Foye being reported by Chad Ford of ESPN, and both Wizards beat reporters, Mike Jones of the Washington Times and Michael Lee of the Washington Post, it’s time to get some initial thoughts blogged out.

If I know Ernie Grunfeld, he’s not done. Hell, he better not be done.

The drama is kind of exciting, knowing the President of Basketball Ops I’ve come to trust probably has more tricks up his sleeve. Judging by the roster after the trade, we might be calling Gruns “Mr. Wizard” if he pulls off something else nice to make the team complete (more on ‘complete’ in a second).

On another note, Thursday just lost a ton of luster … hey, at least the 25th is my birthday.

Five aspects of this trade:

1) R.I.P. to Darius Songaila.

I really, really hate to see Songaila go. Actually, I’m pretty disappointed to lose who might have been my favorite Wizard. I thought he’d continue to be the consummate vet, coming off the bench doing whatever needed to be done … rebound, use experienced leverage to defend the post, spread the floor by hitting long jumpers just inside the NBA 3-point line, etc..

I’ll give D-Song his proper farewell later.

2) Who’s down low?

The Wizards’ post players are now Brendan Haywood (missed all last season with a freak wrist injury), JaVale McGee (a second year player who excites many, but gets pushed around by all), Andray Blatche (a floundering, but very talented, 5th-year-to-be player whose heart I’ll question every day until he proves me wrong), Antawn Jamison (a 32-year old unconventional post player who can rebound the heck out the ball, but can’t play a lick of defense), and possibly Dominic McGuire (a guy going into his 3rd year who started at two guard for a bunch of games last season, mostly because he can defend the wing, and injuries).

What I’m getting at here is that this front-court lineup will not get it done … but everyone and their mom knows this. I thought the Wizards needed a rugged post defender before, now they are desperate for one.

3) Mike Miller.

Before I left work this evening, I told a co-worker the only viable option I’d heard so far was a move for Mike Miller. The Wizards really could use a shooter to extend the floor, and with Miller’s ability to pass and rebound, he’ll flourish on the Wiz in Flip Saunders’ system.

I wouldn’t get too caught up by the drop in Miller’s numbers last year. He had no one around him, save for Al Jefferson, who only played 50 games. Being around guys like Butler, Haywood, Arenas, and Jamison is just what this 29-year old, ’00-01 rookie of the year, ’05-’06 sixth man of the year, needs to revitalize his career.

[The Wizards now have two former 6th man of the year award winners on their roster.]

4) The Wizards are cutting salary.

Here’s how the player salaries match up:

Etan Thomas
Darius Songaila
Oleksiy Pecherov
Mike Miller
Randy Foye
* qualifying offer
# 15% trade kicker boosts Etan’s salary from $7.354 to $8.458 million

Much of the savings is contingent on what the Wizards have in Foye. If the Wizards withdraw Foye’s $4.795 million qualifying offer after ’09-10, he becomes an unrestricted free-agent and can just walk. If this is the case, around $13.5 million comes off the books in the summer of 2010, essentially giving Washington an additional savings of $7.2 million (the contracts of Songaila and Pecherov in ’10-11), over had they just kept Thomas and let his contract run out.

If the Wiz don’t withdraw and Foye accepts the one-year qualifying offer, making him an unrestricted free-agent in 2011, the Wizards are only saving $2.4 million next season in having Foye instead of Songaila/Pech. Of course, the Wiz could always just sign Foye to a new multi-year contract after this season … if he’s worth it. Speaking of…

5) Randy Foye.

(scouting report courtesy of Wyn Douglas, Canis Hoopus)

Talk about another guy who needs a change of scenery. In Minny, Foye might have never lived down Kevin McHale’s gaffe of trading Brandon Roy to Portland for him on draft night ’06. On top of that, he missed most of ’07-08 with a knee injury (don’t the Wizards have enough of that?), and hasn’t fully regained his step since.

The 6’4″ Foye, an ’06-07 all-rookie first teamer, is known to be a “combo” guard … which basically means he’s a streaky shooter who can score points in bunches. He’s got decent handles, but isn’t known to be the best distributor. Foye is strong and athletic, so he seemingly has the tools to play decent defense, but again, that’s contingent on the health of his knee and the abilities of defenders around him.

The Howlin’ T-Wolf says:

Foye is a great 6th man combo guy off the bench (think Barbosa or Terry) who can chip in 12-14 points … assuming that’s how Flip will use him next year with Arenas, Miller, and Butler starting.

Grading the Trade.

I’d like to sound like some ‘expert’ and grade this trade, but honestly can’t give it anything but an incomplete at this point. Something else must happen to balance the team.

Celtics fans flipped out after they traded the 5th pick, Delonte West and Wally Szczerbiak for Ray Allen and a 2nd rounder two summers ago, but then Garnett fell into their laps and all was copacetic.

No, the Wizards won’t be getting Garnett-caliber player, but the point is, don’t judge Grunfeld’s maneuvering by this single move, rather by his summer plan in totality.

Stay tuned …

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Kyle Weidie
Founder / Editor / Reporter / Writer at TAI
Kyle founded TAI in 2007 and has been weaving in and out the world of Wizards ever since, ducking WittmanFaces, jumping over G-Wiz, and avoiding stints on the DNP-Conditioning list. He has covered the Washington pro basketball team as a member of the media since 2009. Kyle currently lives in Brooklyn, NY with his wife, loves basketball, and has no pets.