Every week Wizards Extreme will feature 5 burning questions and their answers pertaining directly to the Washington Wizards and the current state they are in.
However this week, we opted to go with four questions with responses from four of our writers, in honor of Nene's pending physical.
Okay, I lied. We're understaffed.
Nevertheless, this week's segment addresses the Nick Young/JaVale McGee trade and what it may entail for the future of the Wizards.
Today’s feature includes responses from the Wizards Extreme’s team –Chuck Lamar, Abdullah Sharif, Joe Glorioso and
1. The Wizards just traded away JaVale McGee and Nick Young, What was your initial reaction?
CHARLES: Intially excited that a move was made and the roster was shook up. I was a little disappointed at what the Wiz got back but that's what happens when the two guys you trade lead the league in bloopers.
MIKE: It's sad to see them go but it's been inevitable. I just wish Blatche could have been part of it to completely wipe the slate clean. But with these two gone, as much as I loved them, it really is starting to end an era of embarrassing highlights and lowlights for this team. I don't think Javale will be much better in Denver but I think Nick Young will see a lot of success in LA in the same fashion that Caron Butler has. I wish the best to the both of them.
GOOD RIDDANCE...I'm just kidding. Honestly, and I've stated this before, I have a soft spot for Nick Young. I absolutely loved his personality off the court and behind the scenes - one of the nicest athletes I've come in contact in all my years. JaVale, not so much. Look, the kid is talented beyond belief and I think that is the reason so many people were frustrated with what we were actually getting out of him. More than likely Nick Young will start for the Clippers, play a good role shooting open jumpers, avg. around 15pts a game, with ahost of defense blunders but will be better situated in a "winning environment" and with strong veterans around him. The same can probably be said for JaVale, only if he had trouble getting up and down the court with John Wall it's not going to get any easier with Ty Lawson. From a media perspective, I'll miss Nick's easy-goofiness his sometimes swag on the court. JaVale's constant mumbling and Mr. Snuffleupagus attitude with the media will be welcome in the locker room. I am extremely interested to see how the dynamic in the locker room changes and you can be sure that someone from WE will cover that angle for the fans. Time to brush up on my Portuguese.
ABBY: WOW. Wow for the fact that Ernie actually pulled off a deal as he had “expected” too. The news of the trade hadn’t hit the news feeds until after 3pm, but when it finally did, there was an immediate sense of relief. The Wizards tried and tried and tried to get things going with JaVale but came to the unfortunate realization that there was nothing left to do but move him, and move him at a time where there was compensation. Nick Young’s lack of dimensions and consistency is what lead to his demise in DC. Happy for the man to be returning home and possibly fit into the supporting role he needs to be in.
2. How does this impact the culture of the team and the development of John Wall?
CHARLES: This trade was all about the development of Wall and the culture of the team. Ernie Grunfeld clearly lost the talent portion of the trade but won the hard work, basketball IQ, and good teammate portions. These were the characteristics that were sorely lacking from the Wiz.
MIKE: I think we began to see it last night. John, even with only 10 active players in the lineup, looked really good versus the Hornets. He had 26 and 12 which is really close to what he should be scoring every night. He wont be throwing as many mind blowing alley oops due to Nene's knees, but it also gives him an opportunity to run the backcourt more with Roger Mason Jr (who proves his worth last night) and Shelvin Mack who has prove himself to be beneficial. He is only going to get better from this trade.
JOE: The first part of the question is hard to answer but from what we saw last night, the team looked looser and like they were actually enjoying playing basketball together. I say that tongue in cheek though, we beat the New Orleans Hornets last night, not the Chicago Bulls and one game surely won't define this trade. One thing pointed out by Abdullah last night was that it seemed, albeit for that one game that Wall knew he was the first option and didn't seem worried about appeasing two guys who normally need the ball before they start pouting.
ABBY: The impact of the trade was clearly exposed in last night’s game against New Orleans. The team looked much more loose and fluid and it all starts with John Wall. Wall had a superb game and continues to look more and more like the solidified leader of this young team.
3. What scares you most about acquiring NeNe, his knees or his contract?
CHARLES: Both. You have to question why the Nuggets were willing to give on the marquees free agent from this past off-season. His knees might be worse than advertised. His contract really hampers the cap room that WE were so excited about but they would've paid JaVale something close to if not more than what NeNe earns.
MIKE: Neither one scares me as much as the fact that it's almost a mirror image of Rashard Lewis. The Wizards acquired a player who has seen success on a playoff caliber team with an injury-plagued history. This is déjà vu for Wizards fans. I hope I'm wrong but I don't see him being much of a factor on this squad.
JOE: Anytime you have a guy with bad knees and the Wizards/Bullets are involved you have to be somewhat scared. From what I know about NeNe, he's a good guy, solid rebounder, team guy who is all about winning and likes to play with his back to the basket - when the hell was the last time you heard that about a Wizards player? What scares me more than NeNe's knees would have been the emotional and mental baggage of John Wall having to keep playing with Nick and JaVale.
ABBY: Both. Anytime you bring in a player with a history of injuries like Nene’s, you become a bit skeptical of what may happen. A recurring injury may force Nene to become less expendable if the Wizards decide to move him in the future. All this being said, the Wizards’ front office still felt compelled to make a high risk investment in Nene, rather than pay an underachiever in McGee.
4. Which current Wizard player benefits the most from the trade?
CHARLES: While I think all of the Wizards young player really benefit from the trade because it opens up some floor time for them, I think Trevor Booker is really going to benefit from having a seasoned big man to learn from and he becomes the go to big man for the time being.
MIKE: Right now, it has to be Roger Mason Jr. He's been hot the past few games but last night he really showed us what he can do. He's going to get more playing time without Young in the starting lineup and he really is a game changer when he comes into games. He has the experience and explosiveness to alter the path of a critical stretch of game. I hope the Wizards continue to hold onto him through the summer and in the future because, God willing we make it in the near future, he really would make a difference in a playoff atmosphere. I would love to see him retire in a Wizards jersey.
JOE: John Wall. John Wall. John Wall and Randy Wittman. If the trend from last night continues and John has lost the thought that he needs to appease his teammates then we are about to see Wall start climbing the progression ladder again. He is quite a few steps from being the type of player that he can be but losing two guys who need the ball to play happy is going to do nothing but help this offense. Between Crawford and Young there simply was not enough balls on the court to appease both and removing one leaves just the right amount for JCraw to put up enough shots to be content. Let me caveat that by saying I love the way Crawford has been playing of late. Randy Wittman is a winner too for obvious reasons. He doesn't have to deal with a one dimensional scorer who has no conscious when it comes to jacking up shots and he loses the one player who has caused him to age 10x faster than normal by virtue of his lackadaisical defense, desire to swat any ball that goes higher than 6 feet in the air and ridiculous Kareem Abdul Jabar sky hook attempts.
ABBY: Again, after watching last night’s game and seeing how gravely exposed the absence of Young and McGee was, I feel like John Wall will benefit the most out of this trade. As Joe mentioned, that I mentioned how Wall feels he’s not obligated to appease anyone on this team and can take full control of the offense. That was clearly apparent last night. Wall comfortably lead the offense at a fast pace and his teammates responded well.
5. How much does this trade improve the Wizards?
CHARLES: Not sure how much it improves them in the short term but in the long term it makes them leaps and bounds better. The knucklehead era is almost over, two down and one to go, so that makes it all worthwhile.
MIKE: I think it slightly improves our play but nothing is going to change until Blatche is amnestied, traded, or bought out. The fans are going to continue to boo when he shoots it off the sides and top of the backboard, there's still going to be horrendous shot selection, and there's still going to be tired legs from him until the team bites the bullet and removes him from this organization. He is the last person on this regime to clean out and hopefully the Wizards can do so ASAP so this team can get in the right direction.
JOE: Who knows. Honestly, anybody who can tell me that they know how this is going to affect the team in anything longer than the next 20+ games is pulling your chain. Listening to Ernie Grunfeld talk last night, he doesn't sound like a GM with one foot out the door. He sounds like the plan is to bring in a rookie in the draft (obviously) and then to fill some holes around the two hardest positions to fill - big man and PG. If NeNe is the answer, then we are in good shape moving forward, if NeNe is a 4 year, 13 million a year stopgap to some other answer then this trade was nothing more than a short term improvement. The most important part of the trade was removing 2 pieces that were accustomed to losing, that almost seemed to accept being a bad team and replacing them with a guy who's been to the playoffs and knows a little something about fighting through adversity. Short term I love the trade, long term....it's an Incomplete. 3 months from now if we are talking about a Wizards team with the likes of John Wall, Jordan Crawford, Trevor Booker, Singleton, Vesely, Mack, NeNe and pick one (A. Davis, Gilchrist, T. Robinson, etc.) from the draft, we may be talking about this franchise the same way Nationals fans are getting excited about their team.
ABBY: What this trade does is improve the rebuild plan. The “plan” had hit a wall with the lack of development from players with high expectancy and changes had to be made. With the ousting of Young and McGee, the welcoming of an all-star center, and three picks in this year’s draft, Ernie Grunfeld has now paved the way to continue the revamping process, which will only get better this summer, starting with the removal of Andray Blatche and Rashard Lewis.
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