Sunday, February 14, 2010

Dallas trades Josh Howard, Drew Gooden, James Singleton, and Quinton Ross for Caron Butler, Brendan Haywood, DeShawn Stevenson

Nice first step, Caron!
(Photo from Nice Kicks)
Do you remember the preseason? When the Wizards were thought to be a playoff contender with a healthy big 3 of Arenas, Butler and Jamison, the additions of Mike Miller and Randy Foye, with Brendan Haywood in the middle? This team could only go up from their 2008-2009 19-win season, right?

Well Jamison started the year off hurt with a bum shoulder, and the team started 2-7. Then Mike Miller got hurt and missed 28 games plus a 7 minute outing at the beginning of those 24. The team went 8-13 in a 21 game stretch he missed. And in the beginning of January, Gilbert Arenas and Javaris Crittenton brought their guns out and have been suspended for the rest of the season. Caron Butler is the only iron man of the big names the 17-win Wizards have, but the Wizards said forget this season, let's make a deal.

So Dallas comes along. After a preseason of trading for Shawn Marion and signing Drew Gooden, Quinton Ross and Tim Thomas, the Mavericks were up there in possible teams to dethrone the Lakers. And wouldn't you know it, the second game of the season they beat the Lakers (sans Pau). But lately it seems like they've been struggling, going 4-6 in their last 10 games, including losses to teams they should beat: Philadelphia, Minnesota, and the Portland (sans Oden and Roy - the Andre Miller 52 point game). Dallas is now 32-20 and 4th in the West with San Antonio, Oklahoma and Phoenix 1.5 games behind and Portland 2.5 games behind, meaning there's a not so far fetched possibility of Dallas falling to 8th place or lower in the West!

Contractually Speaking

Josh Howard - $10.8 million due this season, team option next season for $11.8 million
Drew Gooden - $4.5 million due this season, free agent next season
Quinton Ross - $1 million due this season, team option next season for $1.1 million
James Singleton - $1 million due this season, free agent next season

Caron Butler - $9.7 million due this season, $10.5 million due next season
Brendan Haywood - $6 million due this season, free agent next season
DeShawn Stevenson - $3.8 million due this season, $4.1 million due next season
(Source Hoops Hype)
Dallas Point Of View

With the struggling Mavericks comes the struggling Josh Howard. He's played in 32 games this season, starting in 9 and is well below his past couple of years' averages. This season he's putting up 12.5/3.6/1.4 on 40% shooting in 26 minutes compared to last years' 18/5.1/1.6 on 45.1% shooting in 32 minutes (starting, but only in 52 games due to injury).

The Drew Gooden signing didn't seem to work out either. He put up decent numbers (averaging 9 pts, 7 reb) as a bench player but said Cuban: "Damp [Erick Dampier] is having problems with his knees and requires rest every now and then, and we were in a spot without having a shot-blocker behind him. Drew did a great job. He laid it out there every game for us to try to fill in. Going into the season we thought that would work, and it just didn't play out as planned." (Dallas News) (Photo from Zimbio).

Replacing them will be Brendan Haywood and 2x all star Caron Butler. Plain and simple, the Mavericks win in this trade. Caron Butler is averaging 17/6/2 and is one of those freak athletes that can put up youtube worthy highlights with his fast breaks. Putting him with Jason Kidd will have positive results.

Brendan Haywood, averaging 10/10 with 2 blocks is another version of Erick Dampier. When Damp is out, the same kind of shot blocking center replaces him. He's a better scorer than Dampier as well (Photo from SI Vault).

And DeShawn Stevenson - Mike Miller took almost all of his minutes in Washington but he is a good defender and athlete. Although he's not a star and is more well known for his little "rivalry" with LeBron, he's more than just a throw in for the Mavs.

How is the starting lineup and depth chart going to look for Dallas? Probably something like

C- Erick Dampier - Brendan Haywood
PF - Dirk Nowitzki - Shawn Marion
SF - Caron Butler - Shawn Marion
SG - Jason Terry - DeShawn Stevenson
PG - Jason Kidd - Jose Barea

Caron Butler can also play SG and Shawn Marion could start at SF putting Jason Terry back in his 6th man role off the bench.

This is a nice looking squad. It's a definite upgrade from the underwhelming play of Josh Howard and a solid back up center for Erick Dampier. More bigs to bang with the Lakers' Bynum and Gasol, the Nuggets' Nene and Martin, and San Antonio's Duncan and Blair. Put that with the scoring abilities of Dirk, Caron, Marion and Terry run by Jason Kidd at point and this offense should have no problem putting points on the board as well as improving their defensive end with Caron and Stevenson guarding some of the top wing players in the league.

Washington Point of View

As mentioned, this team probably won't make the playoffs (8 games behind for the 8th seed, currently 14th in the East only better than the Nets). The team needs to start fresh. They've tried voiding Arenas' contract after the gun incident and with only two years left on Caron's contract, could they put something positive together for two years and re sign him? Also, there's only one year left on Mike Miller's contract and would he want to resign with a bad team? Too much uncertainty. Shed money and maybe sign a big name in the 2010 free agent class.

(Photo from beloblog)
Let's do some math: With this trade, the Wizards shed $14.6 million from next year's payroll. In total, with Mike Miller, Mike James, Oberto and Crittenton coming off the books, the Wizards will go from $77 million to $40 million like THAT. $30 million dollars give or take to sign an all star, a high draft pick, and some solid role/bench players to go along, (HOPEFULLY) with a healthy, law abiding Arenas and Antawn Jamison, although I wouldn't be surprised if either both or just Antawn Jamison was somehow moved before next season.

This season? Well... let the tanking begin? Drew Gooden will be starting at Center for sure and you gotta replace Caron with Howard for a lineup and rotation that should look something like:

C: Drew Gooden - JaVale McGee
PF: Antawn Jamison - Andray Blatch
SF: Josh Howard - Nick Young
SG: Mike Miller - Quinton Ross
PG: Randy Foye - Earl Boykins

I honestly feel sorry for the Washington Wizards. Gilbert Arenas really screwed them over. This was the year he'd stay healthy and take a step in the right direction to make the playoffs and lure a middle tier big name from the 2010 free agent class to take them to the next step. Instead, they'll miss the playoffs again, Mike Miller would leave and Caron if he wasn't traded would leave in the next few seasons. The Wizards did what they had to do and are on the way to starting fresh.

For Dallas, this might be THE team. And they'll have the same team next year with an expiring Dampier contract worth $13 million that could be used to pull off ANOTHER big trade. Time will tell for Dallas on how this team will work, but for the Wizards, close the book on this season.

1 comment:

KneeJerkNBA said...

JaVale McGee looked really good the other night.