Monday, February 15, 2010

So the Wizards dealt Butler and Haywood -- now what?

On Saturday, the Wizards and Mavericks completed the first major trade of the 2009-2010 season. In the deal, the Wizards sent Caron Butler, Brendan Haywood, DeShawn Stevenson, and cash considerations to the Mavericks in exchange for Josh Howard, Drew Gooden, Quinton Ross, and James Singleton.

The addition of Butler and Haywood makes the Mavericks significantly better, while the Wizards were more concerned with dumping salary and... that's it, I guess. Howard has a team option of $11.8 million for next season, but there's no way the Wizards exercise that. Gooden's $4.5 million contract also expires after this season, as does Singleton's $1 million deal. The only player that Washington received who could still be in a Wizards uniform after this season is Ross, who will more than likely exercise his $1.1 million player option for next season.

So the Wizards saved a little money this year and about $13.5 million in 2010-2011 (around $15 million if Ross decides, for some reason, not to exercise his player option). Yet, as Mike Prada of Bullets Forever pointed out, the Wizards didn't save any money beyond next season with the deal. So, barring another cost-cutting move, like trading Antawn Jamison to Cleveland, etc., this trade doesn't make a whole lot of sense and seems a bit rushed. Still, if Ernie Grunfeld can find a way to ship Jamison out, it'll be a little easier to defend the trade.

Hopefully that move takes place, but we'll see what happens. Anyway, let's see what the Wizards got in return from the Mavericks.

Career Numbers PPG RPG APG FG% MPG
Josh Howard (29) 15.4 6.0 1.7 45.4 31.4
Drew Gooden (28) 11.8 7.8 1.1 47.1 27.3
Quinton Ross (28) 4.5 2.3 1.1 42.2 19.4
James Singleton (28) 3.3 3.1 0.4 47.9 11.1

2009-2010 Numbers PPG RPG APG FG% MPG
Howard 12.5 3.6 1.4 40.1 26.4
Gooden 8.9 6.9 0.6 46.7 22.2
Ross 2.0 1.0 0.3 41.1 11.1
Singleton 2.4 2.2 0.4 37.5 8.3

Looking at the above numbers, you can see that 1) the Wizards aren't exactly getting a ton of talent here, and 2) they're all within a year or two of turning 30. Also, all four players have had their minutes reduced this season, they're all shooting below their career averages, and because of both of those factors, they're all scoring fewer points. So did giving away any of these guys really hurt the Mavericks? Not really.

Howard has been described as a bad team guy, but you'd think he'd be on his best behavior in Washington now since he'll be looking for a new deal after this season. If he plays well, he may make himself a little bit of money in the offseason. Gooden isn't really great in any one area, but I'm sure Flip Saunders will give him at least a significant share of Haywood's minutes. Ross is one of the better perimeter defenders in the league, but he isn't much of an offensive player. And Singleton is extremely athletic but has never played more than 15 minutes per game in any of his four seasons in the NBA.

Still, this is the deal the Wizards made. So even though I hate to use a phrase like this, it is what it is. The Wizards wanted to shed some salary, and they gave up the two best players (Butler and Haywood) in the deal to do so. Maybe the Wizards could've gotten more from another team, but this is the trade Grunfeld made.

This is my wish for what the starting lineup looks like:

PG Randy Foye
SG Mike Miller
SF Josh Howard
PF Antawn Jamison
C Andray Blatche

The majority of the bench minutes could go to Nick Young, Earl Boykins (someone has to be the back-up point guard), JaVale McGee, Dominic McGuire, or any of the other three guys brought in via trade. However, I have a feeling that Saunders may not want to start Blatche and will opt for a similar lineup, with maybe Gooden or Fabricio Oberto at center. But I hope not. I'd also be shocked if Ross didn't see a lot of the court because he can actually play some defense.


  1. I think the Caron Butler trade makes Dallas a contender in the West now, but I dont think they have enough firepower to overcome the Lakers.

  2. I think Wizards should trade their pick and get Amare Stoudamaire(sp). This is a golden opportnity to get a true power forward in DC.