A review of two big moves that broke Friday evening:
Wizards Trade Emeka Okafor and 2014 First-Round Pick (Top-12 Protected) to Phoenix for Marcin Gortat, Shannon Brown, Malcolm Lee, and Kendall Marshall
This is what happens when an owner gives his general manager, in the final year of his contract, a very loud mandate to make the playoffs. The Wizards might have been able to make a run at that goal with their pre-trade roster — even though Okafor, co-leader of their surprise top-five defense last season, is out indefinitely with a herniated disk. Look at the Eastern Conference outside the top four teams. You’re telling me a core of John Wall, Nene, and Bradley Beal couldn’t snag the no. 7 or no. 8 seed, provided anything close to competent play from the supporting cast? The Wizards gave Wall a max-level extension, voluntarily took on Nene’s $13 million annual contract, and can’t stop talking about what a wonderful player Beal is going to be. But they’re not good enough to carry the Wiz to the last playoff spot in a top-heavy conference? Things are so precarious that a team that should still be building to the future has to sacrifice a first-round pick — and potentially a first-round pick in the most loaded draft in years — to acquire a league-average center on an expiring contract? All for the short-term endgame of losing to Miami, Chicago, Brooklyn, or Indiana in the first round?
What's that? You were wondering exactly how many days until the start of the NBA season? Well, you're in luck! The Triangle is counting down the days for all of us.
Want to talk about the Wizards? Let's talk about the Wizards.
We knew it was coming. There was too much optimism from outsiders. Too many people predicting the playoffs, praising the offseason, everything. Of course someone would get hurt. Nothing good can happen to this team. It's a law of the NBA universe.
There are a number of incredible stories currently populating the sports pages here in the nation's capital. Obviously and quite appropriately, the heroics of His Holiness the Black Jesus Robert Griffin III predominate. Not only does he seem to win an award or set a new Redskins or NFL rookie record every game he plays, but, in the unlikeliest of unlikely turns, he also has this town dreaming about the possibility of playoffs. The Redskins host the Giants next Monday night, which will also mark the first relevant football game played in D.C. in December in almost seven years (to be truthful, it feels like 70).