This won’t be any easier for you than it is for us.
What you are about to read is a hypothetical conversation between a representative of the player personnel management of the Washington Wizards and of the San Antonio Spurs. Those representatives could be Ernie Grunfeld and R.C. Burford, they could be anyone. Their roles are, however, played by Kyle Weidie of Truth About It.net and Tim Varner of TrueHoop Spurs blog 48 Minutes of Hell. Their conversation is about Andray Blatche.
MONDAY, JANUARY 16
[The Spurs are currently 9-3, having beaten the Phoenix Suns at home by 11 on Sunday; the Wizards are 1-11, having lost to the Philadelphia for the second time in a row on Saturday.]
SAN ANTONIO, 10 AM:
What do the Wizards want back in return for Blatche?
WASHINGTON, 10 PM:
Look, we’re not having a fire sale, but he’s a very movable player, if you catch my drift. Since you emailed me, what’s his value to you?
TUESDAY, JANUARY 17
SAN ANTONIO, 7:30 AM:
Look, we only have 3.5 bigs in our rotation. D-League signings aren’t going to do. The .5 is Matt Bonner, and we understand he isn’t going to cut it.
Here’s what we can offer: Richard Jefferson for Andray Blatche and Mo Evans.
Jefferson is what he is. In the past two seasons, he’s transformed himself into a great three point shooter.
He still scores a little in the paint and on pull ups. Good locker room guy. He’ll help you.
WASHINGTON, 7:10 PM:
I’m listening, but you can’t expect me to let you shed that salary [Jefferson is owed $21.2 million total through 2013-14] while giving the potentially greater return in talent and age [Blatche's contract is more cap friendly, but he is owed about $23.3 million through 2014-15]. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, how can you better entice me to get “rid” of Blatche?
SAN ANTONIO, 7:12 PM:
Look, no one is denying Blatche’s talent, but please don’t deny he isn’t a problem for you. We both know you need to move him. It took a long time for me to even consider calling you about someone who could be a threat to our culture. We would like to do something, but we’re not desperate enough to do bad business with an equally desperate partner.
WASHINGTON, 7:13 PM:
Wait, are you confident in the culture you’ve built or not? Andray is not a bad person, just not fit to be a primary piece in a franchise, especially a rebuild like ours. I’ll be honest, we fu*ked up big time with Blatche… then Ted [Leonsis] made it worse by wanting to extend his contract. But around the right guys, your guys, it could be totally different story.
SAN ANTONIO, 7:32 PM:
Look, I’m not sure I can sell this to Peter Holt as my offer stands, and Popovich has less patience for problem children than Flip Saunders.
WASHINGTON, 7:44 PM:
Well, how do you potentially sweeten the deal?
SAN ANTONIO, 7:52 PM:
I guess what I’m saying is there is no sweetener. RJ is the offer.
WASHINGTON, 8:03 PM:
The Washington Wizards politely decline at this juncture.
[Meanwhile, representatives in Washington contact representatives in Atlanta, (played by Hoopinion writer Bret LaGree) -- Atlanta has recently lost Al Horford to injury for the season.]
WASHINGTON, 9:48 PM:
Hey, what does Atlanta want for Blatche? I mean, you can say you’re not *that* desperate, but you are. At least more than we are…
What about Marvin Williams? Do you really still want him on your team? Let’s talk.
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 18
ATLANTA, 11:15 AM:
I’m lobbying for the coaching staff to give more minutes to Marvin [Williams]. Granted, that says as much about the alternatives (Willie Green, Jason Collins, Ivan Johnson) as it does about Marvin.
Without Horford we need either an efficient, low-usage guy or a really good offensive rebounder to track down all the missed shots we’re going to see. Blatche doesn’t qualify on either count.
I don’t have the numbers in front of me, what are Blatche’s contract details? There might be some interest if acquiring him could play into us creating cap room for the Summer of 2013.
WASHINGTON, 11:20 AM:
You would *only* have to pay Blatche around $23 million total through 2014-15.
As long as there aren’t any clubs for him to find trouble at in Atlanta, 7-Day Dray should bring a clean bill of goods.
TUESDAY, JANUARY 24
[Note: Since the last exchange between San Antonio and Washington, the Wizards have been the Wizards, losing all games aside from a win against Oklahoma City; San Antonio has gone 2-3, losing to the Heat and Rockets on the road, and to the Kings at home, but beating both the Magic and the Hornets on the road.]
WASHINGTON, 1:33 AM:
So will you take Blatche and [Ronny] Turiaf for Jefferson and [Tiago] Splitter?
SAN ANTONIO, 7:05 AM:
Definitely not. Won’t trade Splitter. Given locker room concerns and contracts, prefer him straight up over Blatche. Blatche is far more talented, but he also brings far more risk.
WASHINGTON, 8:54 AM:
Switch Blair for Splitter and you’ve got yourself a deal. I’ll call the league office and get the paperwork started.
SAN ANTONIO, 9:13 AM:
Hmm. I’ll give it some thought. Although now, YOU have to sweeten the deal. We want your 2012 second round pick. Blair is our starting center. Good PER. Very coachable. Young. Consistent.
[Meanwhile, the Washington Wizards fire Flip Saunders.]
SAN ANTONIO, 5:37 PM:
I thought about your counter offer, and we won’t include Blair.
Blair is not a great player, but he’s consistent. No risks. Good offensive production. $800,000 per year.
I return to my offer of Jefferson for Blatche straight up.
Looking at his numbers this season (and his reputation), I can’t imagine you’ll get better offers.
WASHINGTON, 5:42 PM:
We’ll throw in that second round pick (you know it’s going to be #31)….
Look, Blatche is a good guy, means well, truly, just needs more guidance and accountability.
And has shown fragments of try lately, it’s just that his confidence, and reputation, is shot here in D.C. … He could do a lot off the bench in S.A., especially if he doesn’t feel the pressure to be a scoring option.
SAN ANTONIO, 5:45 PM:
Earlier today I watched an incredible video that showed Blatche nearly blocking out Brandon Bass. It was an all-timer. If Popovich sees that video, I’ll lose my job for even talking to you about Blatche.
WASHINGTON, 5:48 PM:
Well, you see… What had happened was… Um… Somebody said something, distracted him… It was Sam Cassell, we’ll get him to be quiet.
SAN ANTONIO, 5:51 PM:
Can I interest you in Matt Bonner?
WASHINGTON, 6:01 PM:
I’ll keep you on speed dial.
Well… What would you do?
Andray Blatche for Richard Jefferson straight up?