The dust from yesterday’s trade has somewhat settled, but the building is still under construction.
And remember, Ernie Grunfeld is likely not done dealing … especially judging by his quote in USA Today: “We might get out of (the draft) altogether. Very seldom do you get a 32nd pick who’s going to come right in and help a veteran ballclub.”
Of course, this could mean drafting someone and selling them for cash (as the case with Billy Walker to the Celtics last season), or packaging it with Mike James’ expiring contract for some sort of help down low (please be the latter, please be the latter).
The greatest challenge would be doling out shots for several guys who love to shoot, especially when the point guard is a notorious chucker. You have to assume that the scoring averages for some of the stars are likely to come down a bit, which might not be a bad thing.
Aside from making the Wizards deeper in the backcourt, I’m not sure I can say that the team has made a dramatic improvement. Foye and Miller don’t make the team better defensively and neither can be considered an awe-inspiring talent. I still have to wait and see what’s next.
PBN basically has several quotes in regard to the Wizards from former NBA coach Eric Musselman, including:
“I think they are now the fourth best team in the East.”
“It’s obvious Washington is making a push not just to make the playoffs, but to go as far as they possibly can in the playoffs. Their time is now. The rest of the East should be scared; the Wizards have the potential to seriously threaten.”
Flip Saunders must be smiling wide. After Wizards president Ernie Grunfeld unloaded the No. 5 pick and the albatross contract of Etan Thomas to the Timberwolves for Randy Foye and Mike Miller, Saunders is suddenly sitting with the deepest roster in the Eastern Conference.
Since he was familiar with the strengths of both players, [Flip] Saunders was immediately on board. “If we can get those two guys,” Saunders recalled telling [Ernie] Grunfeld, “it’s almost a no-brainer.”
My first reaction to hearing that the Washington Wizards traded the fifth pick and a slew of lovable role players to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Mike Miller and Randy Foye was a hearty “NO! NOT POSSIBLE!” Granted, I was walking to an evening class and made the response on TwitterBerry, but still.
But the more I think about it, the more I think this trade works out pretty well. The Wizards jettison a pick they didn’t know what to do with, relieve themselves of hefty expiring contracts, and pick up experienced back court players who should flourish in roles that don’t require much.
Washington? You just put off rebuilding. You just cashed in a year’s worth of misery for, possibly, only a year’s worth of Mike Miller and Randy Foye. You’re deluding yourselves thinking that this is a championship (or, even with everyone healthy, a 50-win) core. I should hate this move. But, for some reason, I don’t.
Washington is in one of those hardly-rare positions where, though they badly (badly, badly, badly) need to rebuild, isn’t going to blow things up. They’re refusing reality. And if you’re going to refuse reality, well, might as well have some fun with it. Might as well try to average 110 a game.
First, D.C.: You probably have to squint and think really hard to get there. But remember, if good health smiles upon the Wiz, their starting line-up next year could be Gilbert Arenas, Mike Miller, Caron Butler, Antawn Jamison, and Brendan Haywood, with Randy Foye coming off the bench. With the East somewhat up in the air, an explosive team like this could sneak in and make some noise. More importantly, they were looking for immediate help, and there’s no one in the draft who could step in and contribute like Miller and Foye.
Without looking at the roster and just factoring in who is leaving town and who is coming in, this is a great deal. The bigger issue is the overabundance of guards on the roster and a complete lack of big men other than Brendan Haywood and JaVale McGee. You can try to argue that Andray Blatche should be on that list, but let’s be real – he’s bringing nothing but disappointment to the table.
It’ll be interesting to see where the team goes from here, and if nothing else, the Wizards continue to evolve into a highly-entertaining squad that can trade buckets with the best of them.
Washington needs the Ray Allen version [of Mike Miller]. Leave the rebounding to Brendan Haywood and Antawn Jamison. Leave the passing to Gilbert Arenas. Just shoot, baby, and everything will be right in the House of Miller again.
Is Mike Miller the next step to a championship, or just the cheapest option available? I’ll go with the latter. Actually Foye may be the better player.
But no matter what I think of Miller, it is sobering to consider what he might have brought if Kahn had been more patient. There are plenty of reasons why his market value is much inflated compared to what he demonstrated here in Minnesota. There are the rookie of the year and 6th man trophies, of course, and there is his reputation, just slightly tarnished, as a cold-blooded long-range shooter who cannot be left alone on the perimeter. The fact is, Miller’s numbers on paper were a lot more impressive than his play on the court last year, and anyone looking at the career in toto of this historically stand-up guy and comparing it to a franchise that has long been regarded as something of a train wreck, might plausibly conclude that the Wolves somehow screwed up Mike Miller rather than the other way around. Then there is that little matter of Miller’s $10 million expiring contract. You don’t think of a player of his caliber might be a nice little chip to dangle around the trading deadline next season?
It was long rumored that the Wizards were seeking to dump salary, but this deal makes it clear they are investing to win big as the trade would keep them well above the luxury-tax threshold — but with a much stronger team. They’d go into next season with firepower at all positions, in addition to the bench scoring they’d receive from Foye, swingman Nick Young and second-year big man JaVale McGee.
They are chattering away on Internet boards in numbers not seen in these Twin Cities since the last bit of breaking Brett Favre news.
A franchise that has barely registered a pulse since July 31, 2007 — the day McHale traded away Garnett to Boston in the league’s biggest deal for a single player — now is guaranteed a prominent seat at the proverbial table after NBA Commissioner David Stern steps forth Thursday and announces the Los Angeles Clippers have made Oklahoma forward Blake Griffin the first player taken.
Now, let’s assume Arenas is just fine. Between him, Butler, Jamison, and Brendan Haywood you have four starters – Stevenson is the fifth, at shooting guard. Both Miller and Foye are capable at that position, but should either one replace Stevenson? Both players need shots to be effective in any offense, and one where they won’t be any higher than the fourth option seems like it could present a problem. Also, neither one is a very good defender, something that Stevenson practices somewhat effectively.
If you take this Wizards lineup and then remove defense while adding more offense, does that really make them a better team? It sounds good on paper, but in reality that’s not going to work unless the goal is to simply outscore the other team; under Flip Saunders as head coach perhaps that’s exactly what they will try and do.
From Cleveland (with love?):
Then there are true and honest rivalries, where one team’s fanbase truly and honestly hates another team with all of their heart, and desperately wants to see them fail regardless of context. Well, the Wizards hate us. They really, really, really do, and a lot of Cavs fans return the favor. There’s always going to be a little bit extra on the line when the Cavs play the Wizards in the LeBron era. A playoff series against the Wizards would become a war in one fashion or another, even if one team comes in with 25 more wins than the other.