The Necessary Departure of Kirk Hinrich From Washington | Wizards Blog Truth About

The Necessary Departure of Kirk Hinrich From Washington

Updated: February 24, 2011

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…

  1. 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?
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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?”

Later D.C.

Kyle Weidie on EmailKyle Weidie on GoogleKyle Weidie on InstagramKyle Weidie on LinkedinKyle Weidie on TwitterKyle Weidie on Youtube
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 lives in D.C. with his wife, loves basketball, and has no pets.

  • daniel411

    Crawford is in his first year of his contract, and to see what he can do check this.

  • Eric

    it was cool while it lasted, but everyone knew you didnt belong here…oh well, at least we can see you every now and then on TNT.

  • szr

    Kyle, usually I nod along with your analysis, but not this time.

    I don’t think it is fair to say the Wizards turned a second round pick into a bunch of players and first rounder. In the NBA isn’t a commodity exchange where you always look for a surplus. The Wizards roster has three limits on it – a total of 15 players,about $60 in salaries for those 15, and contracts.

    In this case, the Wizards have committed 3 or 4 roster spots (depending on what they do with the pick), plus between 7.5 and 8.5 million worth of contracts, for two players – one of whom is significantly more productive than anything they are receiving in return. I could understand this move if the Wizards were a top-heavy team like Miami, which has 5 amazing players, so you want to fill out the remaining roster with cheap stuff. But that isn’t the Wizards’ problem. Outside of Wall and McGee, the Wizards don’t really have any players elite teams would even consider giving bench minutes to.

    As I see it, the Wizards dumped one of their good players (and there were only four – three now) and one of their bad players for two bad players, one rookie who hasn’t really shown he belongs in the NBA, and a late first round pick. That looks like a really bad deal to me.

    And while it is true Crawford might grow into a decent pro, I wouldn’t count on it. He was drafted in the first round on the strength of an NCAA tournament run, but that usually leads to a player being over-valued. In any case, I certainly wouldn’t build a future team with the idea he will ever be a starter.

  • I hear what you’re saying … but it’s tough to look at it in a “good guys vs. bad guys” perspective (and I know you’re not simplifying this much), but I see it as “who’s useful for the future vs. who is not”…

    I don’t disagree with some of what you are saying, rather I think moves like this help set a foundation … which, to the point you make, goes to highlight the fact that for a true future, one where you have top-heavy players to anchor the franchise, Ted is going to have to go digging in his pockets to pay a top-notch free agent (or at least use some of these lower-level assets to acquire one in a trade).

  • Adam McGinnis

    “but doesn’t necessarily change the underlying opinion of the job Ernie Grunfeld has done in totality).”


  • SteveMG

    If the Wizards were a competitive team, this would be a bad trade. But they’re not competitive, they have too many holes and Hinrich was, in effect, a “luxury” they couldn’t use.

    He’s a solid player – and this team needs more of them – but his limitations were exposed playing on such a bad team. Put him on a good team and he’s that much better.

    Yes, they subtracted a solid NBA player for some hopes that what they’ll get is better. In the furutre. Because, let’s face it, if they kept Hinrich, his contributions over the next couple of years would be small because the problems are so big.

  • Incandescent Rex

    I’ve got no problem with them getting something for Hinrich, even if it wasn’t much. Maybe it was always his personality, but his body language and interviews off the court were screaming malcontent to me. I can’t blame him, he doesn’t have much time left in the game and would rather not be on a rebuilding team, but i think he seemed like he was isolating himself from the team.

  • Anthony

    This was an awesome trade, especially if Mike Bibby’s reported buyout terms are true. unprecedented.

    Question is do Wizards blow their wad (salary cap) this summer on guys like, david west, ak47, maybe even, zac randolph, perkins or do they use their cap space to take on players that are good but on teams over the cap, like seattle/oklahoma did with kurt thomas a few years ago.

    People forget how close Miami was to winning the lottery last year and landing John Wall. His life could be so different right now.

    2012 we could try and sign dwight howard and kevin love. if we can’t get dwight howard perhaps we could facilitate a trade to one of the LA teams.