Nene Hilario, JaVale McGee, and the Pareto principle | Wizards Blog Truth About

Nene Hilario, JaVale McGee, and the Pareto principle

Updated: March 16, 2012

[Nene Hilario’s reaction to the trade? Here’s hoping. Courtesy of SI Vault.]

JaVale and Nick Young go. Nene arrives.

Economist Tyler Cowen said in five words what I’m going to say in 250.

Indeed. This trade was good for everyone–but especially for the Wiz.

Never heard of a Pareto improvement? Easy example:

  • Kyle’s got a PowerBar, but he’s thirsty.
  • I’m not hungry (or even thirsty) but have a Gatorade.
  • We swap. Kyle gets better. I’m no worse than before.

The McGee-Young-Hilario deal had something for everyone, too.

  1. Denver gives up a pricey player for a younger, talented, and cheaper replacement. (Roundball Mining Company’s verdict: Good, not great.)
  2. The Clippers lose nothing and add some needed bench depth. (ClipperBlog’s reaction: Ecstatic.)
  3. And the Wizards clear out some knuckleheads, at minimum. (TAI bloggers and readers: Generally pleased.)

Look, I loved JaVale’s entertainment factor. He’s exciting, über-talented, and was a Draft steal at the 18th pick. But it wasn’t going to happen for him here. His dumb plays have made him NBA bloggers’ go-to-joke. He’s one volleyball spike away from playing permanently scared of making SportsCenter…as a lowlight.

McGee wants a contract and needs a clean slate. He’ll probably get both in Denver.

And if Nick Young hasn’t packed his bags yet, I’m happy to help. He’s a ball-stopping guard on a bad team. TAI commenter Nich points out that Jordan Crawford brings just about everything Young does, except for less money and with a higher ceiling.

Meanwhile, Washington adds a big man who’s not a potential star–unlike McGee, Nene’s a proven stud who can man the five-spot on a playoff team. We give more minutes to promising young guys like Trevor Booker and Kevin Seraphin.

Of course, Nene doesn’t come to D.C. with many guarantees. Well, maybe one: his big contract. His health is an issue and, at 29, Nene’s best years are probably past.

There’s another drawback,  per my friend Dov Friedman–the #1 Wizards fan living in Turkey.

What if Nene makes us better and the Wizards no longer contend for the top pick?

Anthony Davis is going to alter the history of a franchise in April and I’d like the Wizards to have an 18% chance of it being them.  Wall, Davis, Booker, Nene, Crawford, plus Vesely and Seraphin (black boxes who might yet show promise).  That’s not a great team but it’s damn sure more promising than anything we’ve had here since we liked Gil.

Like Dov, I’d be crushed if this costs us Davis. But playing the lottery is a dangerous game. Just ask the Toronto Raptors how that’s worked out.

The Wizards need pieces to build around. They got rid of two that they couldn’t.

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Dan Diamond
Contributor at TAI

  • Through pulling off one of the most lopsided trades in NBA History, the Nuggets sent their most over-paid, over-rated and soon to be over the hill player in Nene to the Washington Wizards for the salary cap savings of Ronny Turiaf’s expiring 4.5$ million contract and one of the top up and coming young big men in the league in Javale McGee. Javalle McGee leaves Washington averaging close to double-double in point and rebounds while being ranked second in the league in blocked shots per game.

  • nich

    Your definition of lopsided is different than most people’s apparently. Both teams got what they needed. Would it have been preferable to bring in a guy like Sam Dalembert on a short contract? Certainly.

    Nene will make this team better. McGee got his stats but he NEVER made this team better because he got his stats at the expense of such unsexy concepts as ball movement and defensive rotations. It would be a lot harder to lead the league in blocks if every big’s defensive philosophy was the same as Javale’s, ie: Go for the block regardless of what your defensive assignment is doing, where the ball is in it’s trajectory and if the guy is actually shooting or simply pump-faking.

    Seems to be a lot of people who watch box scores instead of basketball out there grading this trade. Nene’s contract will be an albatross, but don’t think for a second that the Wizards failed to improve their team for the next few years.

  • Rich

    @JT hoopsblog…….hahahaha… definitely do not watch the Wizards…..I have been to 15 games this year and watched the rest on the computer…..McGoo, as I like to call him, was a unteachable stat hog. He could care less about wins and teamwork. He has some highlights but has a massive amount of low lights. He is a 16 year old trapped in an early 20 something body. He also is looking for a 14 mil a year contract. He actually said that. lol. If he ever grows up he will get better but Im happy it will not be in DC. The Nene contract is a gamble only because he has been injured often lately.

  • Michael

    “And if Nick Young hasn’t packed his bags yet, I’m happy to help. He’s a ball-stopping guard on a bad team. TAI commenter Nich points out that Jordan Crawford brings just about everything Young does, except for less money and with a higher ceiling.”

    -You’re listening to Nich? Really?

    Well let me tell you. A quick visit to tells us

    1.) Superior defender. Crawford opponent PER at sg = 18.4. Young = 11.7.

    2.) Superior shooter. Young’s eFG% on jumpshots = 46%. Crawford = 43%

    In general, Crawford has yet to shoot above 40% for a season. Granted it’s not even 2 full seasons, but still.

    3.) Superior size and athleticism. Young has at least 3 full inches in height and 5 inches in wingspan, which helps him be a better defender.

    4.) And about a million times more smarter than Crawford. Let’s not forget this gem –,wp9911

    One of the big problems with this trade as that while we may upgrade at center, we made a big downgrade at the 2 guard spot.

  • nich

    Nick is most certainly a better player than Jordan.

    My point wasn’t “Hell yeah, finally Jordan has the 2-guard slot to itself because he’s a better player”

    It was that the 2-guard slot is wide open in DC and that while Jordan is an inferior player he has more upside and doesn’t require additional financial commitment. It’s much easier to imagine Jordan significantly improving his game than Nick. At least in DC.

    They’re both stopgap solutions. One is cheap.

  • Emperor of Ice Cream

    This trade is a no-brainier for us. Wiz are/were literally a national punch line. Can’t turn that around overnight ( well maybe if we had gotten Chris paul to pair with Blake griffin, but that’s another former laughing stock) but we took a huge step forward. Now we can think about fielding a real basketball team rather than a comedy routine. Chances of attracting a real FA and resigning John Wall just got much better too. Gotta think about the future.

  • george

    I think we improved alot, I just hope this wont bump us out of the michael kidd gilchrist/ anthony davis sweepstakes

  • Fred

    The only thing that REALLY bothers me (and I gladly concede almost all of the non-contradictory points posted by others) is that this ‘trade’ reeks of desperation – by both teams.

  • Michael

    I read an article on Shamsports that it was Denver’s intention to trade Nene ever since they signed him. Instead of letting him walk as a free agent for nothing, now they have a young center with all-star potential. Considering how they handled the Melo situation, Denver seems to have some pretty smart guys running things over there.

  • Denver either has very smart guys or Washington has extrememly dumb for their FO. Say what u want about Javalle McGee, but the fact remains he is far better player than Nene with far higher upside. Essentially what Ernie grunfeld did was send a young strong yet untamed thoroughbred to the Nuggets for an onld mule. If yah’ll think that’s a good business deal, I have some magic beans that I can sell u at a great price.

  • Robert

    this trade is essentially the exact same as if the wiz had signed nene this past summer, let nick young walk via restricted free agency, and traded away javale mcgee for nothing. all this past summer. if the wiz really wanted this guy they could have paid him say 5 years 68 million (1 million more) this past summer and then used javale mcgee (plus pick 6 -would become vesely) in a trade for derrick williams.

  • Alex

    Why on Earth would the T-Wolves do that deal?

  • Sean

    Anyone that says this is a bad trade for the Wizards has not been watching this team for the last 4 years. I couldn’t be happier, even if they aren’t better for it right away, Nick, Javale, and hopefully soon Blatche had to go ASAP

  • Rich

    How long will it take McGee to start complaining to media that he wants more playing time? He went from McGoo to Splinters McGee. Benchwarmer!!!! double-double that…….scout squad!!!!