The Necessary Departure of Kirk Hinrich From Washington
A farewell story.
Couple things to consider regarding the Wizards trade of Kirk Hinrich and Hilton Armstrong going to the Atlanta Hawks in exchange for Mike Bibby, Jordan Crawford, Maurice Evans and a 2011 first round draft pick…
- Vladimir Veremeenko, the Wizards’ 48th overall pick in the 2006 NBA Draft, a Belarusian who was probably never going to play for the Wizards anyway, has been essentially flipped for Kevin Seraphin (17th pick in the 2010 draft), $3 million cash (from Chicago in Hinrich trade), Jordan Crawford (27th pick in the 2010 draft), Mike Bibby and a 2011 draft pick (currently projected to be the 22nd pick). The presence of Hilton Armstrong and Maurice Evans are negligible in this instance. Not bad though, right?
- It’s fallible analysis when you total the contracts of Bibby ($6,417,616) and Crawford ($1,120,440) next season versus that of Hinrich ($8 million) and say that the Wizards are only saving around $461,944. Crawford is in the second season of a rookie contract. Money slotted to be spent on him next year should be considered an investment and not considered when tallying “savings” … Might the Wizards have instead been able to purchase a late first rounder in the ’11 for $3 million? Perhaps, if you want to make that assumption. But then you’ll have to sign that player to a contract. Getting Crawford now offsets having to spend that cash, along with him being someone the Wizards were purportedly interested in, and a player who is already acclimating himself to a professional environment. Plus, as is being reported, Bibby might seek a buyout, which could end up “saving” the Wizards even more money.
- Breaking down Jordan Crawford’s very small sample size stats this season and contemplating how he’ll fit in on a team whose parts will continue to move is useless. Remove that from the analysis … for now. Crawford comes in with a clean slate, simple as that.
- A future first round draft pick … enough said. Looking at historical data and saying, “Well, such-and-such team or GM doesn’t have a good history of drafting late first rounders…” is, again, useless. What does that have to do with future implementation other than as an enhancement to a static argument? Exactly. Also, why should we assume that the Wizards will keep Atlanta’s late first rounder? What if it’s flipped for a higher pick, or something (someone) else? It’s easy to judge moves alone, but just as outlined in point No. 1, this move could assist the end result of subsequent moves. Pay $3 million for a pick in the low-to-mid-20s? Okay… maybe. Pay $3 million to package a pick in the low-to-mid-20s for a pick in the low teens? It could happen.
- Why trade now? Why didn’t the Wizards wait? Maybe Hinrich’s value would have improved? Maybe another team was going to offer more? Again, assumptions are great for argument, not always so much for real world analysis. As far as we know, there were two teams that showed any real interest in Hinrich: Atlanta and the Los Angeles Lakers (and in the Lakers’ case, the interest was probably minimal) … There’s not really a better time to take advantage of a fevered trade deadline environment, especially one occurring before the CBA is set to expire in the summer. Essentially Hinrich had one suitor (because LA made no moves), and Ernie Grunfeld still drove a hard bargain of a pick and a prospect when it was previously reported that Atlanta was unwilling to give up both. Pat yourself on the back, Grunfeld … just a little bit.
- But wasn’t Hinrich good for Wall? Sure he was. He set good examples, answered any question Wall had of him. Great. Now Wall can ask questions of Bibby (if he stays around) … or he can continue to seek advice from Sam Cassell … or I’m sure he can just call Hinrich if he really, really wants to. Sure, there is a difference between Hinrich dropping verbal knowledge versus leading by example and being that calming veteran presence on the court during play. But does that really matter in the grand scheme of things? To Wall’s personal development, maybe … some … but otherwise, the veteran intelligence factor in this specific case should not hinder a rebuilding move. Especially when other bad players seem to be dragging down the team, I’m not sure that Hinrich’s presence made that much of a difference. It’s not like he was going to slap Andray Blatche into submission like a Kevin Garnett would.
In the end, it was wholly essential to take advantage of this opportunity. It was a good trade for the Wizards (but doesn’t necessarily change the underlying opinion of the job Ernie Grunfeld has done in totality).
Now, the un-quotable Kirk Hinrich is gone. Thanks for being around.
“Kirk, I can see a playoff team just beyond the horizon.”
“Now can you take me with you?”