3-on-3: Wizards-Nuggets Trade: Hello Nene, Goodbye Pierre (and Nick) | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

3-on-3: Wizards-Nuggets Trade: Hello Nene, Goodbye Pierre (and Nick)

Updated: March 15, 2012

Nene dunks on JaVale…

… And then kicks it with him.

[photos: K. Weidie, Truth About It.net]

Although not yet officially announced by the team, reports indicate that the Washington Wizards will trade JaVale McGee and Ronny Turiaf to the Denver Nuggets, and Nick Young to the Los Angeles Clippers. From the Nuggets the Wizards will receive Nene, and from the Clippers they will receive Brian Cook and a future second-round draft pick. Breaking down the trade in a good ol’ fashioned 3-on-3, we have TAI’s Adam McGinnis (@adammcginnis), Rashad Mobley (@rashad20) and Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It). Three questions, three answers starts now…

1) What concerns you about this trade?

McGINNIS: Nene has missed 15 games this season due to various ailments—an old ACL injury flares up from time to time—and NBATV’s Denis Scott remarked today that he has lost explosion. Also, Denver Nuggets TrueHoop blogger Charlie Yao informed me that there are questions about Nene’s toughness to play through these injuries, as it’s also concerning that Denver wanted to dump his five-year, $67 million contract that they just inked him to before the season because of “buyer’s remorse.”

MOBLEY: Three things: 1) As healthy as Nene has been over the last three-plus seasons, he is now in Washington where both the “Curse of Les Boulez” and a medical staff that drives its players toward second and third opinions on injuries awaits. 2) Bullets/Wizards fans are well aware of magical maturation that seems to take place when young players leave (Rasheed Wallace, Richard Hamilton, Ben Wallace, Chris Webber), and the fear with JaVale McGee (I think we’ve seen all that Nick Young has to offer) is that George Karl will push the right buttons and unleash the beast. 3) If Jordan Crawford is having an off shooting night, who will pick up the slack for the Wizards? Roger Mason is playing well of late, but he’s inconsistent, and no other player is as adept at creating their own shot as Nick Young was, despite his flaws.

WEIDIE: Age before beauty (which, in the Wizards case, means substance over style) … Nene will turn 30 years old on September 13. He missed pretty much all of the 2005-06 season due to tearing his ACL, tearing his meniscus, and spraining his MCL in the first game of that season. He came back and played 64 games in 2006-07, but was certainly limited due to continued recovery. Nene only played 16 games in 2007-08, but that was mostly due to him tearing a thumb ligament in November and then having surgery in early 2008 to remove a testicular tumor. But since, he’s been relatively healthy, appearing in 234 or a possible 246 regular season games in the three seasons prior to this one. Still, trading the youthful, albeit quite dumb (for lack of a better word) McGee for such a seasoned vet smells a tad impatient. But hey, the window with John Wall is already in year two and rebuilding wasn’t progressing at the expected pace. Something drastic had to happen.

2) What encourages you about this trade?

McGINNIS: A healthy Nene is a serious upgrade in term’s of post presence, filling a physical void on the defensive end that the Wizards have seriously lacked since Brendan Haywood was traded. Washington basically acquired an All-Star caliber big for players that were not going to be on the team next season, along with acquiring a second-round draft pick.

MOBLEY: Nene is a polished post player who hustles, rarely complains and can possibly assist with Kevin Seraphin’s development. He doesn’t block shots or rebound like JaVale, but he’s physical enough to be a legitimate presence, and his IQ is much higher. This trade (as opposed to the ones of Gilbert Arenas, Caron Butler and Antawn Jamison) may wake up Andray Blatche from the doldrums he’s been held captive by all season. His friends are gone, and he knows a cumbersome contract kept him from meeting the same fate. Perhaps his game will be raised a few notches.

WEIDIE: SERENITY NOW; stupidity and selfishness gone. Yes, Nene is set to make $52 million, guaranteed, over the next four seasons after this one… kind of a pricey, de facto free-agent signing. Yet still, if the Wizards amnesty Andray Blatche and buy out Rashard Lewis, they’ll have a decent chunk of cash to throw at a free agent this summer. Factoring in the salaries of the eight players assumed to be on the roster (Nene, Wall, Vesely, Seraphin, Singleton, Booker, Crawford, and Mack), along with Rashard Lewis’ buyout hit (likely $13.7 million), in addition to slotting money for a top-five lottery pick (let put about $4 million as a placeholder), then the Wizards are looking at $46 million in salary next season. If the cap stays around $58 million, that could leave them with $12 million to propel the so-called rebuild.

3) Overall assessment: Yea or Nay to the Wizards getting Nene?

McGINNIS: Washington’s front office obviously soured on McGee and was unlikely to give him a deal anywhere near DeAndre Jordan’s four-year, $42.7 million (or McGee’s reported asking price of a contract averaging $14 million per year). If McGee was not in their long-term plans and no other team presented him with an offer sheet this summer, tendering him for one season would have created a lame duck situation similar to what the Wizards encountered with Young this season. Acquiring Nene is basically akin to signing him to a four-year, $52 million contract, and the Wizards evidently decided that deal was more attractive than any potential free agent deal this summer (even though they still have the cash to bring in someone from the relatively uninspiring 2012 FA class). I wanted to keep McGee, but if this encourages John Wall stay around and improves team defense, count me in the mild ‘Yea’ department.

MOBLEY: Yea. When you’re sporting a 9-32 record, your best big man isn’t a real post player and your best scorer isn’t making the team better, a change is needed. Nene is the opposite of both Young and McGee, and to loosely paraphrase Dwight Howard, he’s worth a roll of the dice. Let’s just hope John Wall agrees.

WEIDIE: Nay-ish… I can be convinced to like this trade, but I was more of a proponent of getting rid of Blatche and Young, but trying to keep McGee. JaVale does things that you just can’t teach (although, McGee has, in other ways, certainly demonstrated that he’s un-teachable). Big picture: this trade is contingent on two things: Nene’s health and the Wizards’ ability to wisely play the free-agent market this summer—can’t say the franchise has instilled the confidence to prevail in either of those areas.

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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 lives in D.C. with his wife, loves basketball, and has no pets.

  • Oliver

    I could goddamn cry with joy. Getting rid of two of the NBA’s, what, top five? six? most embarrassing clowns and getting back an All Star-caliber big and a second-round pick is a goddamn miracle: I’d have been pleased if the Wizards had found a way of getting rid of those two for a ham sandwich with fancy mustard.

    Does it make the team a contender? No. Certainly not. But turning two amateurish nincompoops into one genuine professional is nothing to sniff at.

    Praise Grunfeld! And also fire him still!

  • Alex

    It’s as difficult for me as it is for anyone else, but as Wizards fans, we have to put the Wallaces, Webber, and Hamilton out of our minds here. That was a different organization, in a different time–and if Mcgee succeeds elsewhere like they did, it’ll simply be another bad trade. I don’t think you can call it a trend.

    The Wizards turned several assets–who were quickly running out of value to them, given their contract situations–into a professional basketball player who fills several needs. The gaping holes, namely some sort of dynamic wing player, are still there, but at least the rest of our young guys can play in a slightly less corrosive environment.

  • thomloverrosthirdchin

    Can’t go to battle w/cinnamon sippers,good move for the gizzards….

  • Incandescent Rex

    I agree good move for the Wiz. Happy to see McGee out of here. The Space Cadet in the Mile High City sounds like a match made in heaven. I have no fear the Wiz will regret this down the road. Sorry to see Young go based strictly on his personality, but he wasn’t going to sign here next year and he’s replaceable. I think this is a clear signal from the organization that making Wall happy is job number one from here on out, youth movement be damned.

  • Ayo Obayomi

    Let’s see what happens with Chuckford and how u. Will there still be posts ripping on NY now that he’s not on the team? Will he still get blamed for Crawful shooting <35% as he did most of the season? Will he be called a no defense chucker despite being the best defensive player on the team? I can't wait!

  • Michael

    These moves are pretty bleh imo.

    Nene is a good player. But two things, the guy always comes up small when it matters. And secondly, 4 years from now when this guy is 33 we will owe him $13,000,000. With his injury history, that looks like a toxic contract just waiting to happen.

    Meanwhile, Denver now has a potential all-star on their hand.

    Also, Nick Young was going to leave anyways, so getting rid of him isn’t much of surprise. However, now we get to watch Jordan Crawful jack up more terrible shots and play zero defense. Hey it’s half time and he is 3/10. Right about his average. I can’t root for this team as long as they play this clown.

  • Blue

    Gone is a selfish chucker who would sooner heave an off-balance contested 20-foot jumper with 18 seconds left on the shotclock than pass the ball – and have the audacity to smile about it.

    Gone is an sophomoric swatter who would sooner run a break by himself or lob himself an alley-oop in the hopes of making a highlight reel than help the team win – and have the audacity to joke about it.

    The immaturity and inconsistency that has plagued this team for years has been reduced significantly with the departure of these two clowns and I couldn’t be happier – well…I could be if Andray were gone along with em and I’d be freaking estatic if the GM left too.

    Still, this was addition by subtraction and if for no other reason it provides a more stable environment for John Wall to grow and develop.

  • nich

    Young and Crawford are both poor defenders- Young seems better at staying in front of his man, Crawford seems to gamble too much but also seems to contribute better help defense.

    They also both take bad shots that break the flow of the offense.

    Crawford makes 4 or 5 passes and hustle plays a night that make me happy. Nick Young doesn’t but he’s more likely to catch a hot hand (Not much more likely, let’s remember we’re talking about one guy shooting .406 and another guy shooting .392)

    I just don’t see much of a huge difference between the value of these two guys considering what they bring to and take off the table respectively.

    Outside of one area: Nick is 26 and carries himself as if losing is no problem. He’s regressing in a contract year but still brings enough to the table where he can expect to get a contract larger than the MLE.

    Jordan is 22 and locked into a much cheaper contract. His game needs major work but he grasps more of the game than Nick did at 22 and the hope is that within the next year or 2 he’ll be a significantly better player than Nick is right now. I don’t see Crawford smirking after missed jumpers or pounding his chest after a nasty dunk while down 14 points. The hope is that this indication of a conscience will spread to his shot selection eventually. Will it? It’s too soon to tell. Judging what a player will become this early in their career is pointless. James Harden was a major bonehead 83 games into his NBA career, a year and a half later people were upset he didn’t make the All-Star team.

    Paying to keep Nick Young would signify that we’re happy with the production from our 2 guard spot and players who are content with losing. Letting him fulfill his destiny as a spot-up shooter on a contender while retaining Crawford indicates that we realize that the position isn’t locked down and that the culture of this team needs to change before any serious growth can take place.

  • Ayo Obayomi

    Wow… Nick Young shoots 43-44% for his career, including 38% from 3, which is good for a 2 guard. Nick is also average at the very worst on D, when you take his man and help D into account. This is his worst season, but that 2 week slump he head dropped his percentages from 42% to 39%, so he could easily shoot much better. Crawful had a stretch in which he shot 55%, and he STILL shoots worse than Nick! Saying that he is barely better than Crawful is an insult to Young, not to mention basketball itself. Crawful is AWFUL at D, while Nick can do decent. Funny how a team that could actually make the playoffs (Clippers, not the Wizards) were working on getting Swaggy P for over a week. Surely, he must not have much value. Even after the Clips GM just said he is a top 10% man defender and top 3% corner 3 shooter (stuff Crawful would never even approach). Despite that, you still have the audacity to call Nick a POOR defender? I’m sure locking down Kobe (future HOF, 14 time All Star, MVP) and Durant (2 time scoring champ) means you suck on D, right?

    A 2nd year Nick shot much better than a 2nd year Crawford while playing much better D (and that was before he started learning how to play actual D). Crawful is also 23, so nice job trying to make your agrument sound better. he is not going to develop much more, especially since, FG% is the hardest thing to raise; if you’re an unapolegtic chucker as a rookie with a lot of PT (like Crawful), then it’s hard to break that habit.

    Pounding his chest after down by 14? You mean celebrating after a good dunk AND getting back to his D assignment, Terry, after he cut the lead down to 3? (Terry also went off in the 4th when Crawful was guarding him, not Young). I see Crawful chucking up long 2s or 3s (despite shooting <30% from 3) with no conscience or playing crappy D!

    Actually Harden was a decent rookie, but struggled in his sophomore year before truning it up (after the trade, when he was guaranteed more minutes). Now you're comparing Crawful (garbage) to Harden (3rd overall pick, future 6th man of the year and all-star)? LMAO!!!!

    This is exactly why I'm glad Nick is leaving. He can get away from fans claiming he plays no D, is the reason for the horrible team because he smiles, or that he's worse than Crawful! Is Nick a future all-star? No, probably not. Is he a legit starting 2 in this league? Definitely!

  • Man, the folks in the Nuggets’ front office must be regretting resigning Nene: they paid him All Star money and he’s putting up rather mediocre numbers in scoring and rebounding and he does not even block shots for a man his size. If they can only have a do over and somehow just unload that monstrous contract, but who would be stupid and gullible enough to take on such a dead weight contract of a player that has already hit his peak and is on the possibly the downslide of his career?

    Wait! Denver already traded him yesterday, but who did they find that was stupid enough to take . . . the Washington Wizards? Who did the Nuggets get . . . are you kidding me: Javale McGee?! Are you telling me that the Nuggets sent an over rated and over paid big man whose possibly on his way downhill to the Washington Wizards for a up and coming young center who averages a near double-double and is ranked second in the league in blocked shots per game? Okay I need to sit down . . .