The news was enough to cover up the embarrassing last minute loss to the Miami Heat: Gilbert Arenas had been traded. It really didn’t matter what the Wizards got in return for their former superstar (Rashard Lewis was a decent return, as I’ll talk about more later) but the fact that Ernie Grunfeld was able to deal Arenas at all was a victory for the franchise. Sure, the Wiz still can’t win a game on the court, but now it appears that Washington has a clear plan for the future.
This trade wasn’t made to help the team this year and it probably won’t help the Wiz next year either. At the end of the day this is a win-win deal for both Washington and Orlando. The Magic get a player who desperately needed a change of scenery and who possesses the outside shooting Stan Van Gundy’s offense relies upon. Arenas also gives Orlando another reliable scoring threat who craves the playoff intensity expected of the Magic this season. Washington rids themselves of Arenas – which was the best part of the deal. Getting Rashard Lewis was a slick move by Grunfeld. Financially, Lewis-for-Arenas saves Washington $30 million. On the court, Lewis is a scoring small forward and a deadly three point shooter. His arrival gives John Wall the point guard position all to himself. Lewis also gives the Wizards greater flexibility, since he can play power forward (at 6’10″). Washington can either go small with Wall and Kirk Hinrich at guard, or big with Josh Howard or Nick Young at shooting guard. If Flip Saunders can’t figure out three or four different rotations now, he doesn’t stand a chance at returning to the bench next season.
The Wizards are still struggling to win games this season. While many who follow the Wizards had doubts about the direction of this team, it appears that perhaps there is hope for this franchise after all.
About the Author
Written by Robert Bode
A sports die-hard through and through. I grew up playing almost every sport possible, and to this day I try to stay as active as possible. However, since I'm not a professional athlete, talking and writing about sports is the next best thing. A University of Florida graduate but living in my hometown of Washington D.C. (well Northern Virginia), my favorite teams are the Florida Gators, Miami Dolphins, Chicago White Sox, Washington Nationals, Real Madrid, good up-tempo NBA teams (so not the Knicks), and Washington Capitals.