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

Nene Hilario, JaVale McGee, and the Pareto principle

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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