Wizards get two guards in three-team trade…investing wisely?

December 11, 2008 at 11:31 am Leave a comment

javaris-crittentonThe Washington Wizards finally got involved in the NBA trade market yesterday, breaking what feels like a drought by general manager Ernie Grunfeld. The Wiz traded away veteran guard Antonio Daniels and a 2009 conditional draft pick (the one the Wiz received from Memphis in a trade involving Juan Carlos Navarro last season) and received veteran guard Mike James from New Orleans and young point guard Javaris Crittenton from Memphis. Who wins? Here’s how I break it down:

Shipping Antonio Daniels – Daniels was old, 33 to be exact, and the injury bug has taken its fair share on him. With that said, I was not a huge fan of Antonio Daniels. He did provide some leadership on the team but it wasn’t enough to make up for his extremely streaky shooting. One night he would show up and other nights you’d be better off playing with four guys. His $6.2 million contract for 2009 needed to go. Average move

Acquiring Mike James – Mike James can shoot the three-ball, fine. Mike James hasn’t been productive since the 05-06 season in Toronto, oh. Mike James, like Antonio Daniels, is 33 years old and has just seven years of experience in the NBA. He averaged a crazy 20 ppg and 5 apg in Toronto 4 years ago, that’s about it. His stats so far for this year are very misleading (2.5 ppg, 1 apg) because of his disagreements with former head coach Byron Scott. James may be able to come in and make a couple three’s here and there, but I am more concerned about shipping off his $6.2 million contract for 2009. Below-average move

Acquiring Javaris Crittenton – Bringing in a young (20 years old), strong, and athletic point guard is a smart move for the Wiz. The Wizards have lacked a true point guard for a long time, becaue Arenas is NOT it. Crittenton has had some bad spots, first in LA behind Kobe and then in Memphis playing behind…well, Memphis is Memphis. Apparently, Crittenton was called the second best player on the court during practice when he was in LA. Whether that is true or not is yet to be determined. Crittenton is a pass-first point guard that is 6’5 and able to penetrate. If Arenas comes back healthy and Crittenton gets a true shot at playing point guard, this could be a dangerous and semi-balanced line-up. Crittenton, Arenas, Butler, Jamison, McGee? Or shall we think about next year. Solid, above-average move

At the end of the day, the trade really means nothing in the short-term…at least not in my opinion. I want to be wrong, but I think Javaris will need some time to develop into the true starting point guard position. From what he did at Georgia Tech, he certainly has the talent and athleticism to compete for a job. I love the fact that he is pass-first, especially with people like Jamison, Butler, and Arenas on our team. The bad part about this trade is the fact that we traded a 33 year old Antonio Daniels that was making $6.2 million in 2009 and received a 33 year old Mike James that is making $6.2 million in 2009. Am I missing something here? Supposedly Mike James is a great “locker room guy”, but so was Daniels. Of course I would have liked to have seen the departure of DeShawn Stevenson rather than Daniels, but I guess other teams have to want the player in order to trade them. So, I see this trade as an investment for the future (hopefully the near-future) by acquiring Javaris Crittenton. He’s only 20, he wants to play point guard (the real point guard), and his potential is through the roof – possibly a slight stab at potential. I like it.

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