The great rebuilding project of our time rolls on. And on. And on.
Reports indicate the Washington Wizards have finally parted ways with shooting guard Nick Young, who lifts the team to victory when he plays well and drags them down when he does not -- which is often. The Wiz have shipped Nick Young to the Los Angeles Clippers, where Young can play hard some of the time in front of his home town crowds.
The bigger news is that the Wizards have traded center Javale McGee and oft-injured/seldom-used C/F Ronny Turiaf to the Denver Nuggets and received Nene in return. Oh, and the team also got guard Brian Cook and a second round pick from the three way deal. You don't need to worry much about Cook or the draft pick. The only thing you need to know about Brian Cook is that his contract expires after this season.
Nene, in case you don't know much about him, is a big 29-year-old Brazilian center who was a high lottery pick of the Nuggets in 2002, based mostly on potential and body size. He started having injury problems in 2004 and those problems persisted for years, until 2008, when he started to get healthy again. He hasn't been entirely healthy in 2012 [appearing in 28 games, starting 27], but his three previous seasons have been healthy ones. Most recently Nene scored 22 points to lift the Nuggets to a 118-117 overtime win over the Atlanta Hawks earlier this week. Here is how ESPN scout John Hollinger evaluates Nene: $50+ million guaranteed, he needed to be traded or he would be lost for nothing. Now, Nene is having his worst season in four years, but he's still playing pretty well [13.4 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 51% FGS, 55.4TS%, 16.85 PER] and he's signed through 2015 and making $13 million every year. He gives the Wizards some size and certainty in the middle and he's not a complete headcase.
It looks to me as if that's the crux of this trade -- the Wizards would rather pay Nene $13 million through 2015 than pay McGee $10-12 million for at least five years from the end of this season. I understand completely.
The only downside to this deal is that the Wizards couldn't trade Andray Blatche. Not that I'm surprised. Know anyone that would take Andray Blatche? If so, call the Wizards front office. No? Nobody? Yeah, that's what I thought.